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ARGENTINA | 03-08-2019 09:52

Polls show race is neck-and-neck going into primaries

Polls in Argentina show a very close, polarised race between President Mauricio Macri and opposition candidate Alberto Fernández before next week’s August 11 primary vote.

Fernández is ahead of Macri in the primary but the president would pull ahead in a potential November run-off vote, according to the latest poll by Management & Fit.

In the primary, Fernández is leading with 40.2 percent of voter intention to Macri’s 38.3 percent – a difference that’s within the poll’s margin of error. Third-placed candidate Roberto Lavagna would take 10.5 percent of votes, according to the poll.

“It’s an election that seems very polarised, with candidates that have more than 40 percent and it’s very close, there’s very little difference,” Mariel Fornoni, director of Management & Fit, told Bloomberg on Friday.

The poll shows in a potential November run-off scenario, Macri would win 45.4 percent of voter intentions and Fernandez would take 43.7 percent. The poll has a 2.2-percent margin of error.

Another survey commissioned by Brazilian investing firm BTG Pactual this week showed Macri and Fernández in a technical tie in the primary: Macri had 37.7 percent of voter intention and Fernandez had 37.4 percent. BTG Pactual didn’t disclose the company that conducted the poll, which had a 3.1-percent margin of error.

Fornoni noted that there are two keys for the primary: voter participation rate and the performance of Buenos Aires Province Governor Maria Eugenia Vidal, facing a tough challenger informer economy minister Axel Kicillof. While the vote is technically obligatory, voters between the ages 16-18 and those over 70 aren’t penalised for not voting. Macri and Vidal poll well with older Argentines.

“I think the key to everything is participation and the votes Vidal gets in Buenos Aires Province,” Fornoni added.

- TIMES/BLOOMBERG

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