Uruguay's general elections next Sunday are not only a neck-to-neck dispute between the two main presidential candidates, (unpredictable only six months ago), but are also revealing that the ruling coalition has lost its dominant allure over new voters, according to pollsters.
In effect on 26 October, 2.620.000 Uruguayans are registered to vote, of which 100.000 turned 18 during the last five years and will be going to the ballot booth for the first time in the their lives, and a majority most probably will be voting for opposition candidate Luis Lacalle Pou, 41.
We're seeing one of the greatest changes in recent elections. Before, two out of three new voters would support the ruling coalition which took office for the first time in 2005. In the 2009 election we started to see that the overwhelming support was beginning to erode, and now the change is great, to the extent that half of new voters have gone to the opposition, according to Eduardo Bottinelli, one of the pollsters interviewed.
Mariana Pomies from Cifra also had a similar reasoning. Speaking in soccer terms the seedbed of the Broad Front was the new voters and what we are seeing, particularly in this last year, is a clear change in that natural predisposition to join and vote for the Broad Front.
She added that nowadays the young new voters are balanced between those going to the Broad Front and those choosing the so called traditional parties, although a clear majority are going to the National party, while the other opposition party, Colorado, does not have much following.
Interconsult director Juan Carlos Doyenart argued that the Broad Front no longer attracts young people. And this was first detected in the 2009 election, although somehow contained by the performance of President Jose Mujica.
In this coming election the National party is attracting almost the same as the Broad Front, and the Colorado party less. But I would say that the National and Colorado parties together are attracting more young voters than the Broad Front, added Doyenart who specified a 60% to 40% scenario.
Finally Ignacio Zuasnabar from Equipos consultants said that the Broad Front remains with a greater attraction over new voters, greater than the two other parties together, but it is undoubtedly less than what it was in previous elections.
The latest opinion polls indicate that Lacalle Pou (41) most probably will force a runoff with the Broad Front candidate and former president Tabare Vazquez, (75).-
As to why the change? The interviewed pollsters share the opinion that after ten years in office people want a change, and Lacalle Pou as a younger candidate is more attractive to new voters and to experience change.
The generational proximity is a factor that weighs in. And another factor is his style of campaigning, very informal, direct, with no apparent ties to the past and looking ahead. Actually Lacalle Pou's campaign is more in line with the Broad Front experience in other elections, which were always much younger, more fresh in spontaneity, said Ms Pomies.
What the Broad Front offered back in 2004, now belongs to Lacalle Pou: change, renewal, stepping aside from tradition and promising a modern option. The Broad Front has become the traditional party and option; not enough in these changing times, indicated Bottinelli.
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GO, GO, POU!Oct 20th, 2014 - 12:09 pm 0
Piss off POLLY!
haha christineOct 20th, 2014 - 12:14 pm 0
remember: you cannot vote. you cannot opine. you are just a fugitive there.
and i prefer pou 1000 times more than the warmonger & crazy vazquez.
guess that twat should be your candidate, lol
ChrisROct 20th, 2014 - 01:06 pm 0
Do you just whistle when you want Polly to turn up? You have him awfully well trained.
Ps. This Pou chap sounds a bit better than the other lot. Wonder what he will be like in office?