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Polls show opposition ahead of Uruguay’s ruling coalition

Friday, March 13th 2009 - 06:33 UTC
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Uruguay’s main opposition party is closing in on the ruling coalition Broad Front according to the latest public opinion poll which means that next October there will be no clear winner of the presidential election and a run-off in November seems certain

The poll from Consultants Cifra, Gonzalez, Raga & Associates, --which has a reputation of reliable--, shows the National Party with a vote intention of 38%, compared to the 43% of the ruling coalition.

However, adding up the National Party’s 38% plus 7% from the Colorado Party and 1% from the Independents, the opposition totals 46% with no contender receiving the necessary 50% plus one vote to avoid the November run-off.

The latest poll also showed a clear advantage for the former Agriculture minister Jose Mujica and one of the three leading pre-candidates disputing the ruling coalition presidential candidacy in next June’s primary. Mujica has 53% of vote intention followed by former Economy minister Danilo Astori with 30% and Marcos Carámbula with 9%.

But if all the coalition votes are computed, as will happen in October when the vote is compulsory, Mujica looses one point to 52%; Astori climbs to 35% and Carambula remains unchanged at 9%.

According to Eduardo Gonzales, Cifra’s main analyst, presidential hopeful Carámbula, who was the last of the three to throw his hat into the ring, is subtracting votes from Astori. As the campaign picks up following the summer recess the animosity between hopefuls Mujica and Astori keeps increasing with mutual claims of “dirty tricks” from the other side.

The poll was taken between February 28 and March 4th with 1.004 home interviews covering the whole country. Those who declared “undecided” totalled 11%.

The same Cifra poll unveiled a surprise for the opposition’s main party: pre-candidate and former president Luis Alberto Lacalle who was trailing in previous polls figures ahead of his rival Jorge Larrañaga 51% to 44%, a seven point lead. When National Party voters were asked who they would vote for president next October, the difference increased to eight points, 53% to 45%.

However analyst Gonzalez points out that the June primary campaign has only started, and the difference between Lacalle and Larrañaga is relatively short, plus the fact that the margin of error in non compulsory voting is greater, therefore and with three months still ahead, the final result remains “unpredictable”.

Regarding the other primary involving the Colorado Party, the poll shows pre-candidate Pedro Bordaberry comfortably ahead with 57% vote intention followed by Luis Hierro, 24% and Jose Amorim, 14%.

Categories: Politics, Uruguay.

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