Campaign funding under a
reformed voting system in Portugal

Through its mission of improving analysis and debate on public policy and institutions, IPP aims to support a more open Portugal, in two ways: working for better, more open and transparent public governance and, on the other hand, making the debate more open to the world – and to the promotion of both individual freedom and social justice. The ideal that shaped the development of the United States of America is, in that sense, a clear source of inspiration.

This project which looks at campaign funding in a possible reformed voting system in Portugal (preferential vote system), is based on the elements shared by the values and missions of both the Foundation and IPP, and aim to provide a contribution to improve the quality of democracy in Portugal.

Discussion about voting system reform are almost as old as Portuguese democracy, but it has been impossible to implement significant reform, given the strong resistance of the dominant political parties.

More recently, a lot of work has been put towards consolidating the different discussions in a very concrete, solid reform proposal, which can be more easily implemented, based on a preferential vote system (see IPP Policy Paper 6, on this topic). This system would encourage stronger interaction between political parties and voters, imposing a division of responsibility as to the composition of party lists.

The challenges posed by funding individual campaigns is the most valid criticism of this voting model and one of the main barriers against its implementation. Thus, a study focusing on this question is necessary so as to understanding what is the best way to provide it with a solid answer, based on a review of best practises in other countries.

There is little research done regarding the topic of campaign funding under a preferential vote system. This study will be truly groundbreaking and can have an impact both in the Portuguese and global policy debates on voting system reform.


Comparative analysis and literature review, which will result in two publications: a first one focusing on the international experience and best practises, a second one drawing principles for a concrete proposal for the Portuguese case.

In mid-2017, a debate in Lisbon will take place, with Portuguese political parties and experts, on the topic of voting system reform.


Marina Costa Lobo (coordenadora)

Sofia Serra da Silva

The partnership between IPP and the Luso-American Development Foundation also includes the European Attitudes project.