It is a kind of shooting the campaign that Andre Ventura, head of list of the Coalition Basta, makes by the country. Elections are for the European Parliament, but eyes are on the legislative agenda in October.
"In the year that Benfica wins, I will also win a seat," the candidate said this morning after visiting an animal feed factory in Ferreira do Zêzere.
Confronted by the Expresso with the forecasts of the polls, which do not give him any place in the European Parliament, the controversial sports and legal chronicler of Correio da Manhã and CMTV tries not to react because, it is known, "26 is what counts." But he ends up using the exit of the politicians: "The most important thing is the change in October". It is this "focal point" of the objective of the Coalition that leads, consisting of its party, the Chega, the Monarchist People's Party, the Citizenship and Christian Democracy and Democracy Party.
To reach the October target, André Ventura has been working every day from north to south of the country to "demystify the labels of racist and extreme right" attributed to him. "The other parties have thrown fear, but it has been easy to demystify."
Even so, in campaigning there is room for jokes about gypsies. "Be careful that a gypsy is coming," he said playfully, a supporter at the start of campaign day, which began early in Samora Correia. "If you go to ask for work you can come," André Ventura replied.
The most loyal supporters – those who knew him through television and were collecting signatures to form the party Chega – follow him in campaigning. They see in the chronicler a man who "tells truths" and the "only hope to end the system."
And do not be alarmed by the warnings of populism and extreme right. "I do not agree with everything he says, but the others are all the same. In October he will be elected, "says Carla Bastos, a supporter. "We want people to realize what this project is. And the strength we see across the country is different from what the polls say. But the most important thing is the change in October, "says André Ventura.
Basta's candidate is going to dedicate the afternoon to the fires – he has meetings in Pedrógão Grande with the firemen and the Victims' Association – and tomorrow he heads to Madeira.