LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portugal's ruling Socialist Party is hoping an economic recovery during four years of governing will persuade voters in an upcoming election to return the party to power.

The official two-week campaign period opened Sunday for the Oct. 6 election in which voters will choose members of country's parliament.

The party with the most lawmakers in the 230-seat legislature typically is asked to form a government.

Recent polls have indicated the center-left Socialists have a strong lead over their traditional rivals, the center-right Social Democrats.

Portugal has not seen a recent surge of populist parties like some other European countries.

Portugal had three years of recession when the Social Democratic Party led the previous government. Economic growth has since climbed, from 0.19% in 2014 to 2.1% in 2018, while unemployment fell by half.

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