Almost three weeks of campaign, 21 activists invited and one general election and dozens of local elections. It was amazing. Intense, noisy and Everything happened. Meeting with Sócrates and with ministers and junior ministers; street campaign; door-to-door; concerts; sightseeing in Lisboa; visit to the Parliament; nights out; talks with party members; discussions and debates with candidates; etc. Long days and longer nights.
We even celebrated the «YES» to the referendum in Ireland about the Lisbon Treaty (and had a phone conference with Desmond O’Toole, Eamon Gilmore and Emer Costello).
We campaigned in Lisbon for the general elections and campaigned in several cities for the local ones. We campaigned in Lisbon and in some of its small districts; in Odivelas (where we were and continue to be in power); in Cascais (where we were in opposition and the party does not have some resources); in Oeiras (we were in opposition, but the party had resources); in Vila Franca de Xira (in power); in Amadora (in power) and in a countless number of small districts within these cities' limits.
It was, as you can imagine, a blast. But, with all this, we still had time to celebrate the 99th anniversary of the Portuguese Republic, organize a special dinner and a concert for the event, visit the beautiful city of Lisboa (while campaigning), go out and experience one of the most known nights in Europe and enjoy our fantastic weather (we are sorry for the two days of rain during the three weeks of our campaign exchange).
And the results… what can we say… although we lost our absolute majority, we won the general elections (in a time where the left is having a difficult time across Europe and after we had lost the European elections), and we won the local elections.
In Lisbon we manage to get an absolute majority (an historic first for the PS), in Odivelas we won more mandates and increased our number of elected, in Amadora and Vila Franca we also won with a huge margin. Only in Cascais and Oeiras we lost, but those are strong conservatives cities, where a PS victory is very hard. Well, we can’t win them all.
Nevertheless, a huge number of Portuguese activists where involved as candidates in these elections. I was a candidate for MP, for the Lisbon circle, and for my local district (where I was elected and where we increased by 50% our numbers); Carlos Castro was nº 1 in the little district of Mártires (city of Lisbon), where he increased its score but did not won; Pedro Cegonho, nº1 in Santo Condestável little district of Lisboa, won; André Couto, n°1 in Campolide, little district in Lisboa; Pedro Gomes, nº in Belém, little district of Lisboa, lost; Hugo Chambre, nº1 in Beato, little district of Lisboa, won; etc…
This was for what I am aware of, the longest and biggest campaign exchange organized by PES activists. It is true that we, in Portugal, did have this crazy month with general and local elections together, but nevertheless it was an ambitious project to built; and one that would have never seen the light of day without the help and support of our party and of its different structures.
Again we confirmed that PES activists and national and local parties can work together, in a complimentary way, with a strong electoral outcome. I don’t want to be exhaustive in this post – I am sure that more will follow (and with pictures), but I would not feel good with myself if I didn’t express my sincere thanks to all the activists that came to this Portuguese Adventure; and so, I would like to thanks Adi, Janina, Andreea, István, Evelyn, Laurent, Violeta, Csaba, Attila, Kata, Istvan, Matyas, Edin, Susana, Oana, Mirela, Mateuz, Karolina, Mary, Anabel and Pol for all their hard work and enthusiasm. Without them, none of this would have been possible. (to be continued – and with more photos…).