More than seven months have passed since Luís Montenegro took over the presidency of the PSD at the congress in Porto, at the Rosa Mota pavilion and where he then arrived accompanied by Rui Rio, from whom he received the leadership of the party. The comparisons are unavoidable: Montenegro is just a little less bad than Rui Rio, according to the results of the Cesop/Catholic University poll for PÚBLICO, RTP and Antena 1.
More than a thousand respondents were asked to evaluate Luís Montenegro’s performance as leader of the PSD and there was a slice of a quarter of respondents (26%) who “failed” the new social-democratic president, answering that he is “bad” (20 %) and “very bad” (6%).
Still, Montenegro manages that more than half consider that they are having a performance “reasonable”. One in ten responded that it has been a “good” performance and only 1% underlined it as “very good”.
Now, in the July 2021 poll on Rui Rio’s performance, despite having exactly the same values of “good” and “very good”, 43% responded that his performance was “fair”, 22% that was “bad” and one in ten said it was “very bad”. In other words, Montenegro only manages to recover a small percentage of the bad opinions that Rio received.
The results of the current poll show that there is some disappointment with the way Luís Montenegro has acted as leader of the PSD. It’s just that in the Cesop / Catholic University poll of July last year, as the new PSD leader had just taken office, it was only possible to assess expectations about what his mandate could be compared to Rui Rio’s style.
At the time, 45% thought that Montenegro would perform better than Rui Rio, 23% expected it to be the same and only 12% that it would be worse. One-fifth of respondents chose not to answer.
When he took office, Luís Montenegro took on a different style from his predecessor: as he is not in the Assembly of the Republic and therefore has less protagonism, he announced that he would spend one week a month in a different district of the country, in an initiative he christened Sentir Portugal and which will last for almost two years (excluding December and the summer months).
The itinerary started in September in Viseu and since then it has been in Évora, Viana do Castelo, Coimbra and Guarda. With that, Luís Montenegro has ensured that he regularly appears in the media and responds quickly to current political events.