“It seems relatively reasonable to me to think that people mobilised to vote for Chega, not out of conviction, but simply to show their deep displeasure with what has been the vision [...] that the central government has had for the Algarve”, the Finance professor at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Algarve (UALg) told Lusa agency.

Chega won Sunday's legislative elections in the district of Faro, with 27.19% of the votes, and elected three of the nine deputies, the same number of mandates obtained by the PS and also by the Democratic Alliance (PSD/CDS/PPM).

Luís Serra Coelho is of the opinion that the malaise of the people of the Algarve has to do, firstly, with “a set of promises that have been made over the years by successive governments and which have not been fulfilled”, limiting their ability to “carry out what is their desire, which is to be happy and have a decent life”.

The professor, who is also president of the Algarve delegation of the Order of Economists, gives as an example the issue of health, with the population having difficulties in accessing primary care and the successive postponements in the construction of the Algarve Central Hospital.

“The work has already been launched two or three times and has already generated many headlines” in newspapers, said Luís Serra Coelho, who recalls visits by ministers to the region without there being “work on the ground” yet.

The Government's difficulties in fulfilling the promises it made regarding the region also mean that the region has “very clear water difficulties”, explained the economist.

“The truth is that there are many plans, many millions, once again, many visits from ministers and other important people and we risk in 2024, or possibly 2025, not having water in the Algarve to supply the urban cycle”, he highlighted.


According to Luís Serra Coelho, another reason for the Algarve's discontent has to do with the “economic dynamics” of the region, which is experiencing a “paradox”.

Being a region that behaves very well from the point of view of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) 'per capita', it nevertheless has a high rate of material deprivation and poverty, explains Luís Serra Coelho.

Finally, the teacher mentioned another point of discontent, “which no one likes to talk about”, which is the issue of “the social fabric of the region”.

On the one hand, there are many immigrants from northern Europe who have money and exert pressure, namely, to increase housing prices, which is one of the serious problems in the Algarve.

On the other hand, there are people who come from other countries, namely Brazil, Portuguese-speaking African Countries (PALOP), Asia and Africa, looking for better living conditions.

For the teacher, “a certain discomfort is felt” in this matter, without there having been a real desire to integrate these communities.

The PS, which had managed to elect five deputies in Faro in the last legislative elections, came second in Sunday's elections, with 25.46% of the votes, losing two deputies to Chega, which in 2022 had elected a deputy for this constituency.

The PSD, which ran in coalition with the CDS and PPM in these elections, obtained 22.39% of the votes in the Algarve, maintaining the three mandates it had achieved alone in 2022.