On Friday public opinion pollster Cadem released its latest survey of vote intention for the highly contested Chilean November 14 presidential election with conservative candidate Jose Antonio Kast leading with 25% followed by a young radical, with no government experience, Gabriel Boric, with 19%, who is also under quarantine for having tested positive to coronavirus.
The election comes at a very special moment for the Chilean democracy which somehow survived the 2019 social revolt when during months protestors took to the streets with shootings, hundreds of injured and arrests, plus extended arson and looting in the country's main urban areas, which demanded the intervention of the armed forces, followed by hundreds of claims of human rights abuses.
Once the showcase of South America, the Chilean economy contracted, political instability became a factor of life, and protestors were finally appeased with promises of an elected constitutional assembly to draft a new text, and a raft of measures to alleviate the consequences of the stoppage, the pandemic and the public transport hike which triggered the revolt.
Piñera's support plummeted and is even facing the prospect of an impeachment for the alleged involvement of his family and friends in a deal for the purchase of a mine and exploration rights which needed a presidential signature. In this instability scenario, and the coming election, it is not clear if even his ruling coalition will help him evade the impeachment, if it advances in Congress.
Kast belongs to the Christian Social Front, which supports conservative views, keeping the state out of the economy, and family as the center of the community, but supporters of his leading opponent, Boric, with a coalition of communists and radical groups, Dignity Approval, call him a fascist. Other hopefuls include Franco Parisi, 10%; Yasna Provoste, 9%; Sebastian Sichel from We Can, (Podemos Mas); Marco Enriquez Ominami, 5% and Eduardo Artes 2%. However 22% has replied that they do not know whom to vote, refuse to answer or simply won't go to the polls.
Anyhow 35% of those polled said that they believe Kast will be the next Chilean president, 5 percentage points more than the previous poll, and ahead of Boric for the first time, 29% who would like to see him with the presidential sash
Under the Chilean balotage system, a second round seems inevitable, and in all possible disputes Kast beats them all including Boric, 44% to 40%, also for the first time. As to the degree of support for the different candidates, Ms Provoste can count with 50%; Kast, 46%, up four percentage points; Boric 42%, down three percentage points; Sichel, 43%, up two points and 34%, Parisi, up nine points.
At the same time, Piñera's performance dropped one point to 16% and his disapproval rate soared to 80%. However 63% of those interviewed valued the way he addressed the pandemic. The poll was done between November 2 and 4, involving 1.010 random interviews in 201 communes of which 90% urban and 10% rural.
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