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Pedro Magalhães

The Portuguese missing link

This piece about Portugal being the “missing link” in a wave of party system transformation in Southern Europe had me quickly thinking about another way of visualising Portugal’s specificity, if any. So here it is. I show the electoral scores of the member parties of the European Popular Party and the Party of European Socialists in the three countries since their first democratic elections. For 2015, while Greece is measured using the 2015 election results, for Spain and Portugal I use the latest poll estimates (here and here).


So you can see Spain moving towards a basic 2/2.5 party system with the demise of UCD and its successor CDS, Greece’s consolidation of a pure two-party system with the collapse of EDIK, and Portugal’s brief stint with fragmentation with PRD in the mid 1980s. By the late 2000s, they had basically converged. Then, well…

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