LISBON (Reuters) – Portugal’s ruling Socialists extended their lead over the opposition in an opinion poll released on Friday three months before a parliamentary vote, putting them closer to winning a majority after years of solid, if slowing, economic growth.
The survey by ICS/ISCTE pollsters for Expresso weekly and SIC television channel put the center-left Socialists of Prime Minister Antonio Costa at 38% of voting intentions, up 1 percentage point from the previous poll in March.
Opposition - Social - Democrats - % - Points
The main opposition Social Democrats were far behind on 23%, having dropped two points, and their traditional allies from the conservative CDS-PP were on 5%, a sharp 3 points lower.
The two parties had governed together before the last election in 2015, presiding over a period of tough austerity they had to impose under an international bailout.
Poll - Socialists - Combination - Discipline - Growth
The poll also showed the Socialists, whose combination of fiscal discipline with economic growth has won praise from Brussels and ratings agencies, may have more options this time if they fail to clinch a majority.
Although growth has slowed somewhat since 2017, which marked the strongest expansion since the turn of the century, it is still expected to outpace the euro zone’s...
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