Minority Governments and Pledge Fulfilment: Evidence from Portugal

Catherine Moury, Jorge M. Fernandes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


In an age of rampant distrust and disaffection, pledge fulfilment is important for the quality of delegation between voters and elected officials. In this article, we make an empirical appraisal of pledge fulfilment in Portugal. Do Portuguese minority governments fulfil their pledges? How do they fulfil those pledges? What is the role of opposition parties? Using an original data set with over 3,000 electoral pledges for three Socialist governments, as well as interviews with former ministers and party leaders, our evidence suggests that: (1) minority governments fulfil at least as many pledges as their majority counterparts; (2) the main opposition party manages to extract the most policy benefits; and (3) economic conditions and cohabitation situations matter for pledge fulfilment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalGovernment and Opposition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • Government
  • Minority governments
  • Pledge fulfilment
  • Portugal


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