Fifteen months ahead of October 2014 presidential election, over 80% of Uruguayans are willing to reveal whom they will vote, ‘if elections were held next Sunday’, according to the latest public opinion poll from Cifra and released this week.
The poll shows that 43% of the electorate would continue to support the ruling coalition, Broad Front; 25% the National party; 14% the Colorado party; 2% the Independent party, while 16% does not know or prefers not to answer.
The ruling Broad Front has been in office since 2005, and repeated in 2010. The first time with Tabare Vazquez, there was no need for a run off as the last time when President Jose Mujica was elected.
In overall terms this means that the Uruguayan electorate since 2011 is virtually split in half with minimum variations of up to 2/3 percentage points according to the regular Cifra polls.
In effect last June the ruling coalition had 45% vote intention, the highest since the end of 2011, and now has lost two percentage points going back to the same reading it had last April. In this month’s poll the difference is just two percentage points.
With the main opposition party, Nacional, the situation is exactly the contrary, last June it had lost two percentage points that it now recovers, while the junior opposition Colorado party since April has been experiencing a gradual but sustained fall: 16% in April; 15% in June and 14% in July.
Likewise who do not know or did not answer have been steadily climbing from 14% in April to 16% in June.
As to the causes of the oscillation, Cifra supplies some possible explanations. In the previous poll the government benefited from a successful tour by President Mujica of China and several EU countries. Nowadays however the government faces an ongoing stoppage from teachers at the three levels, and a bitter struggle with the unions, which offers a ‘complicated’ scenario.
This means that if the presidential election were to be held next Sunday the Broad Front coalition, would still be ahead with 43% but the rest of the opposition parties climb to 41%, a two percentage point difference and thus too close to call. In June on the contrary the Broad Front was five points ahead.
The Cifra poll covered the whole of Uruguay, urban and rural, including 1.021 phone interviews from 10 to 21 July with an error margin of plus/minus three percentage points.
Inside the ruling coalition the group led by Vice-president Danilo Astori, FLS, leads with 11% of vote intention, followed by the Socialist party, 10% and the MPP belonging to President Mujica. The Communist party, which dominates organized labour stands with a 2% vote intention as well as other small groups, and 6% who did not reply or did not know.
However in the capital Montevideo, Socialists lead with 14% followed by FLS, 12% and MPP, 11%: In the rest of the country, FLS collects the best opinion, followed by the MPP with 8% and the Socialists with 7%.