Popularity of the two political leaders plummeted this month. But, while the president holds out with a positive balance of 37 points, the prime minister is left with just six, reveals a survey by Aximage.
This month Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa is shown a real yellow card. But it’s even worse for António Costa, who is approaching the red. According to the Aximage barometer for JN, DN and TSF, the popularity of the two leaders plummets and the prime minister now has barely six points of positive balance (difference between positive and negative evaluations). This month, the president’s fall was more pronounced, but the fact of starting from a very high level allows him to maintain a generous positive balance of 37 points.
The last month and a half was critical in the Portuguese assessment of the two politicians (but also for those in the Opposition). The survey asks no questions about the reasons for the Portuguese disillusionment, but the calendar gives enough clues. If, in early June, the government was still surprised by the British alert for the delta variant, a month and a half later the country is in the middle of the fourth wave of the pandemic.
Unlike previous crises, there was a lack of harmony between Costa and Marcelo. The differences were public, with the president calling for a less “fundamentalist” approach and refusing to return to a state of emergency; and the prime minister to maintain strict criteria, but to be hit, even so, with the shards of mistrust that were arriving from the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany and France.
SENIOR VERY CRITICAL
The end result, for both, is an unprecedented drop, in all parameters, since July of last year (when this series of barometers began). In the case of the prime minister, the fall had already started in May, accumulating a loss of 18 points in positive assessments (now 41%) and an increase of 16 points in negative ones (35%). The wear and tear of your Government and the recurrent discussion about the need to make a remodel (see text opposite) will help to explain the negative moment.
The break is reflected in all segments of the sample, but there are some that stand out. Until April, the elders were always one of the anchors of the prime minister’s popularity. Since then, there has been a massive desertion of seniors, to the point where they are now the most discontented: in the population aged 65 and over, Costa’s balance is now negative. In regional terms, the prime minister only has the benefit of the doubt in Lisbon and the Center. In the North region, in Porto and in the South, the balance is already negative. In party geography, the positive balance is now limited to voters from Left parties.
SOIL WAS HIGH
The situation of the president of the Republic is different: he fell more than the prime minister this month, but he started from a much higher level and therefore continues to have an unparalleled popularity. It lost 15 points from May to July in positive assessments (now has 55%) and rose eight in negative (18%), resulting in a positive balance of 37 points (almost the same as in July last year, at the start of the barometers) .
Marcelo was also punished by the older ones (low 29 points in the positive evaluations), but there is a fundamental difference in relation to Costa: among respondents aged 65 and over, the president still has a positive balance of 41 points. Like the prime minister, the worst results are in the North and South regions and in Porto, but with a positive balance. In party geography, the socialists continue to be the most generous (despite the collapse), but they start to have a negative balance between those who vote for CDU and Chega.
The percentage of those asking for more demands from the president on the Government is growing, with five points more than in May. This requirement is majority in all segments, including the socialists (51%).
Unsurprisingly, Marcelo continues to lead in the “game” of confidence, despite losing a point compared to May. Costa rises two to 14%. The biggest difference remains in the PSD electorate, with an advantage for Marcelo (76%).