July 25, 2021

Survey. Large majority of Portuguese wants government reshuffle

Since May, the Portuguese are even more demanding a remodeling of the Government. In total, 71 percent of respondents believe that Prime Minister António Costa should replace some of the members of the executive. In May, it was 51 percent of respondents pointing to this need to make changes in the Government.

If in May 2021, 31 percent of respondents saw no reason to justify government reshuffles, that number is currently only 17 percent.

In this hypothetical renewal that is increasingly unanimous for the Portuguese, The name of the Minister of Internal Administration, Eduardo Cabrita, comes to mind. In the survey, there was an open answer to the question that was posed on this topic and possible substitutions, whereby the respondents could refer to several ministers to whom they would point the way out.

Eduardo Cabrita appears in 40% of the answers, when it appeared in only 19% two months ago. Next, the minister most mentioned by respondents is the Minister of Health, Marta Temido (10 percent) and the Minister of Justice, Francisca Van Dunem (5 percent) and the Minister of Education, Tiago Brandão Rodrigues (5 percent) ).

In a detailed assessment by the respondents to the various members of the Government, the Minister of Health is highlighted as the “best” executive minister by 24 percent of respondents, followed by João Leão, Minister of Finance (5 percent), and Pedro Siza Vieira, Minister of Economy (4 percent).

Given not only the various recent controversies and controversies, but also respondents’ responses about priorities in future government reshuffles, it is no wonder that Minister Eduardo Cabrita is considered by the Portuguese as the worst minister in the Government of António Costa (34 percent of respondents), followed by Marta Temido (six percent) and the minister of Health, Francisca Van Dunem (three percent).

Despite the aversion to some members of the Government and the most evident demand for remodeling, the overwhelming majority of Portuguese (88 percent) still believe that the executive will fulfill the mandate until the end. Only eight percent of respondents believe the government will fall before the end of the legislature.

In fact, when looking at how the executive has handled the pandemic, 52 percent of respondents consider that the performance of the governing team has been “reasonable”. However, 29 percent rate the executive as “bad” or “very bad”. Another 16 percent consider that government provision in a pandemic situation has been “good” or “very good”.
Pessimism reigns, “reasonable” assessment of the opposition

In the survey conducted by the Universidade Católica for RTP, there is data that reflects the strong pessimism of the Portuguese since the pandemic situation. Of those surveyed, 58 percent think the country is worse off than it was just a year ago. “The majority response is unequivocal and shows a very negative general perception”, the document with the conclusions of this inquiry reads.

Of the remaining respondents, only 12 percent say the country is better than a year ago and 28 percent say the prospects have been the same since then.

On the approval of the next State Budget, in which the Government needs, in addition to the support of PS deputies, abstention or support from another of the main parties, respondents consider that it is with the PSD that negotiations should be opened (33 percent).

In second place, the most mentioned party was the CDU (30 percent) and then the Left Bloc (26 percent). As this is a multiple answer question, many of the respondents answered more than one party, having been “particularly relevant” the number of responses that included two former partners of the Geringonça, CDU and Left Bloc.

In the assessment made to Rui Rio, respondents consider that the opposition leader has performed “reasonably” (48 percent), but a total of 32 percent believe the PSD president has had a “bad” or “very bad” performance. Only 11 percent respond that Rio’s performance is “good” or “very good”.

PR maintain popularity levels

Finally, in relation to the President of the Republic, the majority of the Portuguese believe that the Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa’s performance “is the same” (57 percent) in relation to the first term. There are still 23 percent of respondents who respond that the PR’s performance “is worse now” at the beginning of the second term and another 17 percent respond that “it is better” currently.

However, the survey proposes reading these new data in light of other results obtained previously.

Taking into account the results of the survey in May (where the PR had an average of 15.7 on a scale of 0 to 20 and 95% of positive evaluations), we cannot infer from these July results that 23% give a negative rating to its performance”, underlines the Center for Studies and Opinion Polls (CESOP) of Católica.

In fact, a percentage of respondents think performance is worse at the moment. “But as the starting point was very high, being worse does not necessarily mean being bad or negative”, point out those responsible for the study.

In a longer-term evaluation, the Catholic University recalls the data collected in November 2016, when a few months had passed since the beginning of the first term of Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, and concludes that the President of the Republic “maintains the very high levels of popularity and recognition” in this start of his second term, based on data from May 2021.

Last March, the PR began its second term after winning the presidential elections in January. In May 2021, another poll by the Católica was about the role of the head of State in relation to the Government, with 54 percent thinking Marcelo was “sufficiently demanding”, but 34 percent noting that the president was “not demanding” with the executive in power.

In this survey two months ago, 47 percent said they expected the same level of demand from the President of the Republic over the next five years, but a very similar number of respondents (46 percent) expected Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa to be more rigorous with the Government in the second term.

This is the third part of the poll published by the Catholic Church during the debate on the State of the Nation, scheduled for next Wednesday in parliament. Other results of this inquiry were released by RTP in recent days.


This survey was carried out by CESOP – Universidade Católica Portuguesa for RTP between the 9th and 15th of July 2021. The target universe is composed of voters residing in Portugal. Respondents were randomly selected from a list of mobile numbers, which was also randomly generated. All interviews were carried out by telephone (CATI). Respondents were informed of the purpose of the study and expressed willingness to participate. 1202 valid surveys were obtained, with 46% of respondents being women, 29% from the North region, 19% from the Center, 37% from AM de Lisboa, 8% from Alentejo, 3% from Algarve, 2% from Madeira and 2% from the Azores . All the results obtained were then weighted according to the distribution of the population by sex, age groups, education level and region based on voter registration and INE estimates. The response rate was 34%. The maximum margin of error associated with a random sample of 1202 respondents is 2.8%, with a 95% confidence level.