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Montevideo, September 25th 2017 - 02:37 UTC

Chile's presidential election will confront social-democratic reforms and a free markets' approach

Friday, April 21st 2017 - 09:56 UTC
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The Chilean presidential election will be competitive, even as the Chilean stock market is beginning to price in a conservative win of Piñera The Chilean presidential election will be competitive, even as the Chilean stock market is beginning to price in a conservative win of Piñera
A victory for Guillier would likely mean a deepening of the social-democratic reforms initiated by outgoing President Michelle Bachelet A victory for Guillier would likely mean a deepening of the social-democratic reforms initiated by outgoing President Michelle Bachelet

A leftist senator running for president in Chile's November election is tied in a head-to-head match-up with the conservative frontrunner, even as his support has slipped in recent months, a poll released on Thursday showed.

 The survey by pollster MORI shows Alejandro Guillier, a leftist former television journalist, winning 33% of the vote in a potential runoff, with conservative ex-President Sebastian Piñera taking 32%. The remainder of participants did not respond, did not know who they would vote for, or said they would not cast a ballot.

Chile is set to hold the first round of its presidential election on Nov. 19. If no candidate wins more the 50%, the top two will face off in a head-to-head matchup scheduled for Dec. 17.

The one-percentage-point difference between the two candidates is within the poll's 3 percentage point margin of error and represents a slight slip for Guillier who had been winning head-to-head by 5 percentage points in December.

Still, it shows Chile's presidential election will likely be competitive, even as the Chilean stock market is beginning to price in a conservative win as Piñera enjoys the support of a unified right and a healthy first-round lead.

A victory for Guillier would likely mean a deepening of the social-democratic reforms initiated by outgoing President Michelle Bachelet, while a Piñera presidency would mean a more free-market approach to governance.

In the first round, the poll showed Piñera taking 26% and Guillier taking 14%. That represents an improvement for Piñera, who was leading Guillier by just 4 percentage points in the December poll.

Piñera also strengthened or established a lead in related questions, such as who respondents believe will be the next president, regardless of their personal preference.

A number of relatively minor hopefuls, such as the hard-left Beatriz Sanchez and populist conservative Manuel Jose Ossandon, have support in the mid-single-digits, according to the poll. MORI surveyed 1,200 people face-to-face from March 28 to April 10

Categories: Politics, Chile.

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