LISBON (Reuters) - Support for Portugal’s main opposition Socialists fell in the latest opinion poll, diminishing their lead over the ruling coalition as no group appears to be able to clinch an outright parliament majority in an election in the autumn.
The new survey by Eurosondagem pollsters published on Friday showed the coalition practically steady, while the Socialists shed 1.2 percentage points from a month ago to 36.9 percent of voting intentions. The election is due in September or October.
Analysts have said that unless polls change, neither the government coalition nor the Socialists will be in a situation to form a majority government.
The Socialists last month presented an election platform vowing to end austerity, but also to meet the country’s international commitments for budget deficits and debt reduction. The government called the plan a path toward a new bailout.
Last year Lisbon exited an international bailout contracted in 2011 amid an acute debt crisis. The economy is growing again after a long recession, but the government’s popularity remains low after it had to apply painful austerity measures under the rescue program.
Although both the Socialists and the main ruling party have ruled out a post-election centrist coalition, some analysts say such a possibility cannot be discarded in case of a hung parliament.
Reporting By Andrei Khalip; Editing by Dominic Evans