An estimated 42% of the Uruguayan voting population approves the performance of President Jose Mujica who this March marked the second of his five-year mandate, according to a public opinion poll from Interconsult released this week.
This represents three more points than last September, but the disapproval rate has also increased from 17% to 22% while 35% believe that the performance of President Mujica is mediocre.
Mujica has greater support among the young (49%) but the percentage falls over the age of 40. Likewise the most educated and skilled approve the performance in 46%, dropping to 42% in the medium strata and 39% among the least educated.
The poll by phone was taken between 25 and 27 February, interviewing people over 16 in towns with a floor population of 5.000.
According to the poll those who support the performance of Mujica underline his care for “the poor and the working class” but without mentioning any other specific achievements than the controversial relation with Argentina and a national agreement on vehicle licence plates.
Another public opinion poll but from last December points out that the approval of Mujica was 49% while 21% disapprove, 29% preferred to remain neutral and 1% refused to be interviewed.
The Equipos poll shows that Mujica’s support has varied from 53% in February 2011, to 44% in April, 42% in June, 46% in August and 47% in October. Two years ago, when taking office the support for the Uruguayan president had reached 62%.
The poll also indicates that the ruling coalition Broad Front support for Mujica stands at 72%, while 22% remains neutral and 6% disapprove. In the main opposition National party, 33% disapprove, 29% approve and 36% disapproves. Among the voters of the junior opposition Colorado party, Mujica has the largest disapproval rate, 42% while 23% approve and 33% remain neutral.
Regarding the popularity of political leaders former president from the ruling coalition, Tabare Vazquez leads with 62% followed by Mujica, 56%, and Vice president Danilo Astori, 50%.
During 2011 Uruguayans confidence in the economy dropped from 62% to 54%, apparently because of the international uncertainty and its possible consequences for the country.
At the end of 2011 public safety was the main source of concern for the Uruguayans interviewed, 38%, followed by the quality of education, 13%. In third place figured jobs, 7%, and lastly drugs and youth addiction, 5%.
Historically in Uruguay jobs have been the main cause of concern, but in 2011 the change to public safety explains a growing feeling of rampant crime and lawlessness, in spite of a strong economy with ample job opportunities.