Legislative2024: A guide to the March 10 elections

Here is a guide to voting in early Legislatures

Early legislative elections are scheduled for March 10, with 19 competing political forces and an increase of more than five thousand registered voters compared to 2022.

More than 10,8 million voters residing in the country and abroad will be called to vote and choose the party they believe should form the next Government or which they think best represents them, electing the 230 seats of deputies in the Assembly of the Republic for the next legislature.

The current legislature, which would only end in 2026, was interrupted following the resignation of the Prime Minister, António Costa, on November 07, after it was made public that he was the target of a judicial inquiry opened by the Public Ministry at the Supreme Court of Justice from Operation Influencer.

The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, immediately accepted the prime minister's resignation and two days later announced to the country the dissolution of parliament and the call for early legislative elections for March 10.

Here is a guide for voting in early legislative elections:

+++ What is the number of voters? +++

The number of voters is 10.819.122, 5.876 more registered than in the 2022 legislative elections, according to the official map published in March of this year in Diário da República, which counted 10.813.246 registered.


+++ What are the political forces competing with the legislative ones? +++

There are 19 political forces competing in the legislative elections, two fewer than in 2022.

The Nova Direita party makes its debut in these elections.

Voters will be able to choose between the following parties and/or coalitions: PS, Democratic Alliance (PSD/CDS/PPM), Chega, IL, BE, CDU (PCP/PEV), PAN, Livre, Us, Citizens!, Alternative 21 ( MPT/Aliança), ADN, PTP, RIR, JPP, Ergue-te, MAS, Nova Direita, Volt Portugal and PCTP/MRPP.

In the case of the PSD, it is running as a candidate in 21 circles with CDS and PPM, which are part of the Democratic Alliance (AD). In the Madeira circle, social democrats and centrists maintain the coalition, called Madeira Primeiro and PPM competes alone.

The parties running for fewer circles are: MAS – Movimento Alternativa Socialista (1), PTP – Portuguese Labor Party (3), PCTP/MRPP (9) and JPP – Juntos Pelo Povo (10).


+++ How many deputies are elected per constituency? +++

Of the total of 230 deputies to be elected in the legislative elections, Lisbon remains the largest constituency (in which 48 deputies are elected), followed by Porto (40), Braga and Setúbal (with 19), Aveiro (16) and Leiria ( 10).

Coimbra elects nine deputies, as well as Faro and Santarém, while Viseu has eight seats in parliament to distribute.

In the autonomous regions, Madeira maintains six deputies and the Azores five.

Viana do Castelo and Vila Real elect five deputies and Castelo Branco four.

Beja, Bragança, Évora and Guarda vote to elect three deputies per circle, while Portalegre, Europe and Outside Europe remain with two.

In these elections, the Setúbal district will elect another deputy, a mandate lost by the Viana do Castelo constituency, according to the official distribution map of the National Elections Commission (CNE).

These changes are explained by the increase or decrease in the number of registered voters in a given constituency.


+++ Who is allowed to vote? +++

Citizens of Portuguese nationality, over 18 years of age, and “Brazilian citizens, resident in Portugal, with a citizen card or identity card (with equal political rights status)” can vote, as long as they are registered in the census. the CNE on its website.

Young people who turn 18 on election day can also vote, says the CNE.


+++ Who can vote in advance on mobility? +++

According to the CNE website, all registered voters in the national territory can vote in advance on mobility, one week before the election date.

In this modality, voters can vote in advance on March 03rd in a location chosen by them, which includes any municipality on the mainland or in the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira.

To do so, the voter must communicate their intention between the 25th and 29th of January electronically at www.votoantecipado.pt or by post, addressed to the Electoral Administration of the General Secretariat of the Ministry of Internal Administration, located at Praça do Comércio, Ala Oriental, 1149-015 LISBOA.

The postal request must include the following data: Full name; Date of birth; Civil identification number; Household; Mobile early voting table where you wish to exercise your right to vote; Telephone contact and, whenever possible, email address.

If the voter registers to vote in advance on mobility and is unable to do so, they can vote on election day (March 10) at the polling station or section where they are registered.


+++ How do prisoners and hospitalized patients vote? +++

The deadline for prisoners and hospitalized patients to request the right to vote from the electoral administration of the General Secretariat of the Ministry of Internal Affairs ended on February 19th.

Between the 26th and 29th of February, the president of the Chamber goes to these establishments to collect the votes.


+++ Can voters traveling abroad also vote in advance? +++

According to the CNE, registered voters in Portugal who are traveling abroad on election day can vote in advance as long as the trip is “due to the exercise of public functions or private functions”, in official representation of the national team, organized by a sports federation. endowed with public sporting utility status or in the case of being a “student, researcher, teacher or research fellow and traveling abroad in a higher education institution, research units or similar units recognized by the competent ministry”.

A sick voter receiving treatment abroad or who “lives or accompanies the voters mentioned above” may also vote in advance abroad.

This early voting takes place between the 27th and 29th of February “at diplomatic, consular representations or in external delegations of Portuguese public institutions previously defined by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs”, with a list on the CNE website.


+++ How do voters registered abroad vote? +++

According to the CNE, voters registered abroad can vote in person or by post, “and this option must be exercised with the respective registration commission (consulate, embassy or consular post) until the date of scheduling each electoral event” – which in the case of the legislative ones was January 15th.

Anyone who chose to vote in person must go to the respective polling station on March 09th and 10th.

In the case of postal voting, according to the CNE, the Ministry of Internal Administration sends voters the ballot paper to the address indicated in the registration book, by the fastest postal route, under registration.

Voters receive the ballot paper, two envelopes, one green and the other white. The voter marks the voting option with a cross, folds the ballot in four and places it inside the green envelope (without any indications or documents) and closes it.

Then you must insert the green envelope into the white envelope, along with a copy of an identification document and, once closed, send it by post before election day, March 10th.

Postage is free.


+++ How do you know where to vote? +++

“Registration in the census is automatic for all Portuguese citizens residing in the national territory and over 17 years of age”, informs the CNE.

If you don't know where to vote, you can obtain this information from the parish council of your place of residence, access the website at www.recenseamento.mai.gov.pt or by sending a free written message (SMS) to number 3838, with the message “RE (space) CC/BI number (space) date of birth”, writing the date starting with the year, month and day of birth [yyyymmdd].


+++ What time are the polls open? +++

It will be possible to vote between 08:00 and 19:00. The General Secretariat of the Ministry of Internal Administration (SGMAI) warns that “after this time, only voters who are inside the voting assembly or section can vote”.


+++ What documents are needed to vote? +++

To exercise their right to vote, voters must indicate their name at the polling station, identifying themselves with their Citizen Card or Identity Card, or failing that, an official document containing an updated photograph or “by two voting citizens who attest to their identity through a pledge of honor, or even through unanimous recognition of the panel members”.

The voter card was no longer issued in 2008 and the voter number was eliminated in August 2018.


+++ Can a voter vote accompanied? +++

“Accompanied voting is permitted when the voter, affected by a notable illness or physical disability, is determined by the polling station to be unable to exercise the right to vote alone”, informs the SGMAI, which adds that in these cases the voter votes accompanied by another voter on their own. chosen, “which guarantees the fidelity of expression of your vote and which is obliged to absolute secrecy”.


+++ When does the election campaign take place? +++

The electoral campaign will take place between February 25th and March 08th, in accordance with electoral legislation. March 09th is the day of reflection.



Sources: National Elections Commission (CNE), General Secretariat of the Ministry of Internal Administration (SGMAI), Voter Portal and Lusa agency