Presidential elections were held in Portugal on 24 January 2021. The incumbent President, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, was constitutionally allowed to run for a second term.
In an election in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, in which Portugal was under a lockdown as of election day, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was reelected as President by a landslide winning 60.7% of the votes. He won every district in country, all 308 municipalities, the first time ever in Portuguese democracy, and won 3,083 parishes out of 3,092. The election was also marked by the rise of far-right candidate André Ventura, leader of CHEGA, which polled 3rd with almost 12% of the votes. In second place, former MEP and Ambassador, Ana Gomes, was able to win 13% of the votes, the best result ever for a female candidate in a presidential election. The rest of candidates failed to poll above 5%.
Overall turnout in this election fell to 39.5%, a drop of 9 percentage points, mainly due to the authomatic registration of overseas voters which increased the number of registered voters to almost 11 million. In Portugal alone, turnout stood at 45.45%, a decrease of 4.6 percentage points when compared to the 2016 election, which was the lowest drop in turnout in an election with an incumbent running since 1980.
Sources and further reading:
Portugal President Rebelo de Sousa re-elected, abstentions surge
Portugal’s centre-right president re-elected but far right gains ground