Politics

Infographic: Can Macri force a presidential runoff?

24th October 2019

By The Essential Staff

Infographic: Can Macri force a presidential runoff?

After a strong loss of credibility from pollsters following the surprisingly large margin of victory for Alberto Fernández in the presidential primaries, how can one assess the likelihood of a new surprise, this time in the opposite direction, in Sunday’s general elections?

</p> <p>For one thing, primaries have the advantage of being much closer to the real thing than any poll. Voter turnout is usually similar (although it can rise by a few percentage points), and the candidates don&#8217;t change much as there was almost no internal competition within the parties at a national level.</p> <img class="wp-image-4731 aligncenter" src="https://gettheessential.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/elecciones-300x183.jpg" alt="Results from previous elections can serve as a guide to know what can happen on Sunday" width="657" height="401" srcset="https://gettheessential.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/elecciones-300x183.jpg 300w, https://gettheessential.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/elecciones-768x469.jpg 768w, https://gettheessential.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/elecciones-1024x626.jpg 1024w, https://gettheessential.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/elecciones-600x367.jpg 600w" sizes="(max-width: 657px) 100vw, 657px" /> <p>This means that making projections that start with the primary results as a base is a good starting point. One key difference is that blank votes are counted as part of the total in the primaries, but discarded in the general elections. As a consequence, if the voting pattern is repeated, all candidates will get a higher share of the vote, which favors Fernández&#8217;s odds of securing the 45 percent minimum needed to avoid a runoff, as the table shows.</p> <p>As well as needing a smaller share for Fernández, Macri also needs to improve his share of the pie, with at least 35 percent of votes needed to avoid the other <a href="https://gettheessential.com/politics/2019/07/04/argentina-election-voting-rules-primaries-runoff">condition</a> that triggers a first run win: a 40 percent share of the vote plus 10 percent more than the second-place candidate.</p> <p>Most analysts agree that this is unlikely, especially considering how the economic crisis only got worse since the primary vote, with poverty up and purchasing power down due to rising inflation, a selective debt default and restrictions on currency exchange. But that doesn&#8217;t necessarily mean that Macri will deteriorate either.</p> <p>An interesting precedent is that of 1989, when the presidential election took place amid a more acute economic crisis, with the country undergoing a punishing hyperinflation. The non-Peronist candidate, Eduardo Angeloz, still got 38 percent of the vote (32.5 and 4.6, combining his two tickets), against Peronist Carlos Menem. Argentina&#8217;s anti-Peronist base among the cities&#8217; middle classes is still strong, and Macri has been appealing to them since August. Even if it might not be enough to win, it could help him retain a crucial core of supporters.</p> <p>

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The Essential Staff

The Essential is a premium subscription-based news platform that brings you high quality journalism and in-depth coverage in English about the changing face of Argentina’s politics and economy.