With less than four weeks to 26 October presidential election in Uruguay, the leading candidates are in a neck to neck race, which will demand a run off at the end of November with the result is too close to call, although two of the latest opinion polls believe that the ruling coalition could still scratch through.
Opcion Consultores released this week, points out that if elections were to be held next Sunday, in the first round, 41% would support Tabare Vazquez and Raul Sendic the ruling coalition ticket, followed by the National party with 34%, the Colorado party, 11% and 1% other parties, with 5% annulled or blank and 4% still undecided.
A one year review shows that the ruling coalition Broad Front had 43% vote intention in September 2013; 42% last April; 41% in July; 42% in August and last September was back at 41%.
The National party a year ago stood with 27% vote intention; 29% in April; 32% in July; 33% in August and 34% in September.
The Colorado party's evolution has been, 15%; 15%; 14%; 11% and 11%, while the Independent party from 3% a year ago is now in 1%.
This has two immediate consequences which makes the presidential outcome most interesting: first that most probably the Broad Front will not enjoy a clear majority in the Legislative as it has had in the last ten years, and secondly a run off in November is a fact.
In the runoff, between former president Vazquez (78) and lawmaker Luis Lacalle Pou (41), vote intention stand at 47.1% and 45.5%, too close to call and with 7.4% replying they don't know or will not say. Compared to the previous August poll the opposition National party advanced 1.5% and the Broad Front lost 1.9%.
Another public opinion poll from Interconsult released earlier in the week says that Vazquez and the ruling coalition will just make it in the run off with a one point difference.
As with Opcion Consultores this poll also indicates that the ruling coalition will lose its legislative majority, which will demand some sort of coalition understanding at cabinet level or in parliament. The same if the opposition finally makes it.
According to Interconsult the ticket Vazquez-Sendic has a 47% vote intention in the runoff while Lacalle Pou and Larrañga, 46%. Another 5% remain undecided and 2% plan to annul their votes.
This is simply too tight to call, the fact is that Lacalle Pou has finally caught up with Vazquez, said Interconsult chief Juan Carlos Oyenard.
As to the first round on 26 October, Interconsult says that the ruling coalition has a 44% vote intention, followed by the National party with 32%; the Colorado party, 14% and the Independents, 4%. The undecided are estimated at 2% and 4% annulled votes and other minority parties.