after the yellow card in July the red card in November The prime minister is for the first time with a negative balance in the assessment of the Portuguese according to the Aximage barometer for DN JN and TSF Unlike what happened in the summer the disappointment does not extend to the President of the Republic who if he was already the most popular is also the only political leader with a positive image among the Portuguese
The signs are not the best for António Costa when the date for the early legislative elections is already set 30 January It is true that voting intentions in the PS remain high 385 but the assessment that the Portuguese make of the head of government suffered another shock After the fourth wave of the pandemic the explanation for the damage now lies in the lead to the State Budget and the consequent political crisis
The prime minister enjoyed just over six months ago a positive balance of 40 percentage points difference between positive and negative assessments In May that advantage dropped to 23 points In July it was reduced to a mere six points And now it goes to a negative balance of two points with 39 of respondents giving a negative score against 37 of positive evaluations.
Although the fall is widespread there are segments of the population that save António Costa from a descent into hell first of all the Portuguese aged 65 and over who had not forgiven him for his missteps during the fourth wave of the pandemic but who are returning now when what is at stake is the negative coalition that wrecked the Budget and triggered the political crisis it is only among the older people that the prime minister achieves a positive balance of 18 points in the other three age groups is in red.
When the angle of analysis points to party choices it appears that the prime ministers popularity now depends almost exclusively on PS voters 76 of positive ratings It no longer counts on the indulgence of a good part of the Social Democrats the balance is now negative 42 points when last May it had as many admirers as detractors among those who would vote for the PSD but the fundamental change is registered more on the left it went from a positive balance to a negative balance between blocists and communists.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa had also received a yellow card this summer going from a positive balance of 60 points in May to 37 in July But in the fall his path definitely separates from Costas in politics as well as in popularity At this point he has the same 55 positive assessments as four months ago against 21 negative plus three points which guarantees him a positive balance of 34 percentage points
An assessment that took place when the Portuguese were already fully aware that they were going to dissolve the Portuguese Parliament and call early elections the barometer fieldwork took place between 28 and 31 October And that makes the president the only truly popular political leader like Costa all the main party leaders now have a negative balance
When the different segments of the sample are analyzed it is clearer that there are other differences between Marcelo and Costa The president maintains a positive balance in all age groups and unlike the prime minister the older ones no longer carry the weight of other heights His popularity is in fact greater in the two younger levels At a regional level Lisbon makes the difference two thirds give it a positive rating mirroring Porto where it has its worst result just like Costa
With regard to party preferences it is clear that socialist voters did not take the atomic bomb into disrepute which will lead to the end of the current government Perhaps they believe like many analysts that Costa wanted elections Thus it is again among those who vote for the PS that Marcelo has the greatest popularity positive balance of 47 points well above the Social Democratic electorate balance of 35 points The president is only in the red among the communist liberal and radical voters.
The survey was carried out by Aximage for the DN TSF and JN with the aim of evaluating the opinion of the Portuguese on issues related to current politics The fieldwork took place between the 28th and 31st of October 2021 and 803 interviews were collected among people over 18 years of age living in Portugal A quota sampling was carried out obtained through a matrix crossing sex age and region NUTSII from the known universe rebalanced by gender age group and level of education For a prob sample.