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Portuguese Government Wary of Repeating May's Snap Vote Mistake

  • Ruling Socialists have widened lead over opposition in polls
  • Foreign minister expects agreement in parliament on budget

Portugal’s minority Socialist government says it wants to complete its four-year term, rather than risk early elections as its support grows.

The Socialist Party had the backing of 41 percent of voters in a survey published by weekly magazine Expresso on Aug. 4, compared with just 32 percent in the October 2015 election. It led the opposition Social Democrats by 13 percentage points. Yet after U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s poll numbers tempted her into a disastrous snap election earlier this year, Portuguese leader Antonio Costa is inclined to play safe, reassured by the consistent support he’s enjoyed in parliament.