Portugal's politics and elections (user search)

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  Portugal's politics and elections (search mode)
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Author Topic: Portugal's politics and elections  (Read 214052 times)
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Political Matrix
E: 2.06, S: -8.00

« on: April 02, 2017, 05:22:59 AM »

Many in this thread ask why some regions of Portugal are very left or rightwing and that can be explained by many factors like a strong influence of the Catholic Church but one of the main factors that cemented political positions in different regions of the country was land ownership and the size of it.

Of course, today, that's not an issue but 45 years ago it was a big deal. After the 1974 revolution the big land owners of the south were striped of their lands and those lands were given to the workers. This scared the hell out of the small land owners in the North and Center of the country and therefore created this strong North-South divide that election after election we see in the map.

But this map explains it better. This map shows the size of land explored by parish. Take a look at it:

The redder the parish is, the smaller the size of land explored is.
The greener the parish is, the greater the size of the land explored is.

And now take a look at the parish map of the 2015 elections:
The site that i posted earlier this week, aggregates awesome maps but didn't have a map of the 2015 election. So i decided to make one. And here it is:

The election results by parish and the map with the land size explored by owners are almost an exact match. Small land owners vote massively for PSD or CDS. The bastions of the PSD, the Viseu area, Aveiro, Leiria, Madeira and parts of Braganša and Guarda are home to small properties, although here the PS has some points of strong support, but overall this is PSD country.

The South is painted in green, particularly the Alentejo area where it's home to the big land properties striped from their owners in the 70's due to the Agrarian Reform. Nowadays many of these lands are owned by foreign investors from Spain, UK or France, although a few are still owned by workers. But the voting patterns remained intact. The Algarve area, particularly the coastal part, have also high rates of small land owners and they tend to vote PSD.

Madeira, like i said in a post above, is a small property island and therefore PSD country. While Azores is mixed.

Hope you understood this fascinating division in Portuguese politics.

Based on the Spanish experience, even if there had been no land reform after the 1974 Revolution, that divide would have continued to exist. In Spain, the same pattern exists, based on how land was distributed and territories repopulated with Christians during the Reconquista. The map even explains literacy discrepancies in the 19th century or even educational attainment nowadays.
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