Top NewsPortugal election: Right leads amid far-right surge - poll

Portugal election: Right leads amid far-right surge – poll

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image caption,

Center-right leader Luis Montenegro wants to end eight years of socialist rule

Portugal's centre-right is leading in a tight election race, polls suggest, but will struggle to build a majority in parliament.

The Democratic Alliance aims to end eight years of rule by the centre-left Socialists.

It is predicted to get 29-33% of the vote, compared to 25-29% for the Socialists.

But the far-right Sega (Enough) party appears to have confirmed its bid to be a third force in Portuguese politics.

The main poll for public broadcaster RTP gives former soccer pundit Andre Ventura's party 14-17% of the vote after a campaign focused on corruption and immigration.

Five years after winning his first seat in Parliament, Sega is hoping to become a kingmaker, and the party celebrated a historic night.

But the main winner on Sunday appeared to be the leader of the centre-right, Luis Montenegro, whose face appeared on TV screens as his supporters chanted “Portugal, Portugal”.

Ten million Portuguese had the chance to vote in Sunday's snap election, four months after Socialist Prime Minister Antonio Costa was ousted amid corruption allegations, and he was never named as a suspect.

Although the elections were held only two years ago, the turnout was the highest in many years.

The center right is not without its own problems. The Social Democratic Party, which dominates the Democratic Alliance, is embroiled in a regional scandal in Madeira.

Even if it wins Sunday's vote, the coalition is projected to win about 91 seats in the 230-seat parliament, far short of an outright majority.

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