The defeat of [Diogo Freitas] do [Amaral] was a defeat as well for Prime Minister Anibal Cavaco Silva, who had campaigned alongside Freitas do Amaral and whose centrist Social Democratic Party had organized most of the conservative's rallies. Cavaco Silva had insisted that only the election of Freitas do Amaral could ensure stable government for Portugal.
The relations between the two men have been tense. Cavaco Silva's withdrawal from a coalition with [Mario Soares] led to parliamentary elections in October that knocked the Socialist Party out of its position as the strongest party in the assembly. The defeat was so crushing that many analysts thought that Soares' political career was over.
Even then, many analysts doubted that Soares, a traditional enemy of the Communists, could unite the left behind him. But Communist leader Alvaro Cunhal, putting aside his bitterness over Soares' role in preventing the Communists from taking control of Portugal after the April 25, 1974, revolution, gave Soares a grudging endorsement.