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Larreta closer to beat Lousteu in City runoff

PRO’s Horacio Rodríguez Larreta (left) and ECO’s Martín Lousteau face off next Sunday.
PRO’s Horacio Rodríguez Larreta (left) and ECO’s Martín Lousteau face off next Sunday.
PRO’s Horacio Rodríguez Larreta (left) and ECO’s Martín Lousteau face off next Sunday.

ECO hopeful shortens distance, but fails to secure own support and to attract FpV, FIT voters

With less than a week to go before the runoff to pick Buenos Aires City’s next mayor, Cabinet Chief Horacio Rodríguez Larreta (PRO) appears to be closer to victory by around a 10-percent margin over his contender Martín Lousteau (ECO), according to opinion polls published yesterday.

A survey conducted by Poliarquía pollster in La Nación revealed that Buenos Aires City Mayor Mauricio Macri’s dauphin will likely defeat Lousteau, reaping 49.1 percent of the vote while the former economy minister reaches 38.3 percent.

Lousteau is due to reduce the 20-percent gap from the July 5 election — when the PRO mayoral hopeful got 45.5 over ECO’s 25.5 percent of the votes—, but not enough as to unseat Macri’s PRO from the helm of the City. Pollsters believe that the ECO candidate is going to lose 14 percent of those who voted for him in the first round and he will probably fail to attract all the voters from left leaning parties.

The same poll indicates that, in the second round, Larreta gains 3.6 percent of votes, while Lousteau’s votes increase 12.8 percent. Loyalty to candidates seems to operate in favour of the PRO as 94 percent of Larreta’s voters on July 5 are going to vote for him again next Sunday, while only 86 percent of Lousteau’s first-round voters will repeat their choice.

Following Poliarquía’s report, blank votes or low turnout will not have great impact on the final results, as only 5.7 percent of the residents consulted are due to cast blank votes, and 6.9 percent express indecision regarding both mayoral candidates. Thus, the final result would remain around the 10-percent margin — Larreta would get 55.3 percent, and Lousteau 44.7.

Immediately after the first round on July 5, another survey by pollster González y Valladares revealed similar results, stating Rodríguez Larreta the possible winner with 47.8 percent of the vote and placing Lousteau near 37 percent. Without blank and undecided votes, the gap between both candidates increases to 13 percent, and the City Cabinet Chief reaches 56.4 percent while the ECO candidate gets 43.6.

No one’s votes

Right after the PRO candidate’s victory in the first round, the City electoral conundrum shifted to Victory Front (FpV) voters and those of the left leaning parties represented by Myriam Bregman and Luis Zamora.

Poliarquía’s survey indicates that 67 percent of FpV mayoral candidate Mariano Recalde’s voters — which numbered 21.9 percent in the first round — are due to swing to the ECO candidate, while 17 percent will probably cast a blank vote. Only eight percent of Recalde’s voters have also decided to swing to the PRO candidate.

On Friday, the head of Aerolíneas Argentinas expressed his gratitude for the support of the “400,000 City neighbours” who voted for him and stressed Kirchnerites would not tell voters what to do, ratifying his position that both Rodríguez Larreta and Lousteau represent the “same” political force.

According to Poliarquía, those who in the first round voted for any of the leftist parties’ mayoral candidates would also vote for Lousteau in the runoff. Thus, 58 percent of Luis Zamora’s voters (AyL) are likely to choose Lousteau, while only five percent would vote for the PRO candidate. Bregman’s voters (Workers’ Leftist Front, FIT) are willing to adopt a similar vein with slight differences — 46 percent would chose the ECO’s candidate, 16 percent would possibly vote for Macri’s dauphin and 21 percent would cast blank votes.

González y Valladares’ report had foreseen similar trends within the left-wing electorate, stressing that Lousteau is likely to attract most of Zamora’s voters (60.6 percent) in the first round and Bregman (52 percent).

Next contest

PRO candidate Horacio Rodríguez Larreta kept ignoring his contender Lousteau’s request to hold a debate before the runoff. Yesterday, the City Cabinet chief dismissed, once again, any chance of facing off Lousteau in a new debate, recalling that he had already debated with PRO Senator Gabriela Michetti before the local primaries, and with the ECO and FpV’s candidates before July 5.

“There was too much aggression,” Larreta insisted in conversation with Radio Mitre. “All surveys say we are going to win,” Macri’s protégé added.

For his part, Lousteau complained about the lack of debate between the candidates to succeed Macri because the PRO doesn’t want to debate. “A debate does not change (anything). People who watch a televised debate have already decided their vote.”

— Herald staff

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