Argentina’s elections never seem to fail to surprise. In the latest twist, the word on the street is that Economy Minister Sergio Massa has put up an unexpectedly strong performance in the presidential vote.
(Bloomberg) — Argentina’s elections never seem to fail to surprise. In the latest twist, the word on the street is that Economy Minister Sergio Massa has put up an unexpectedly strong performance in the presidential vote.
Across television networks and national media, provisional and partial results began to filter through on Sunday night. And it punctured the narrative that had been building up since August’s shock result that saw libertarian outsider Javier Milei emerge as a winner. There was a presumption that he would be leading the pack here too.
Not so certain. While official, consolidated results aren’t due for at least another hour, the results of individual ballots have started being leaked to reporters and on social media, giving a partial picture of the momentous election, with some TV anchors in Buenos Aires even whispering the government’s candidate is leading the vote.
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Parties traditionally measure how the election is going by checking the results of key ballots that approached the national result in previous votes.
Massa’s strong showing could be the result of Peronism’s traditional ability to mobilize voters, particularly in the Province of Buenos Aires, the country’s largest electoral district. It would also reflect a vote for some kind of continuity against the radical economic medicine proposed by Milei, who describes himself as an “anarcho-capitalist.”
Even if most polls showed Milei ahead before the vote, the scenario of Massa in lead was predicted in one poll tracker by Sao Paulo-based Atlas Intelligence, which on Sunday morning showed Massa ahead with over 32% of the votes, followed by Milei with almost 27% and Patricia Bullrich coming out third with 23%.
After his coalition come out third in a primary vote in August, Massa had gone on a charm offensive with voters. He cut taxes and increased social spending in a last-ditch attempt to garner popular support, even if it comes at the cost of accelerating an economic crisis.
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