Support for Venezuela’s Socialists Slides to 19% Ahead of Vote

Less than a fifth of Venezuelan voters are planning to support candidates aligned with the ruling socialist party in congressional elections scheduled for later this year.

The United Socialist Party of Venezuela, or PSUV, is backed by 19.2 percent of people ahead of the Dec. 6 election, according to a survey conducted by Caracas-based polling company Datanalisis between July 10 and 23.

Support for the party of President Nicolas Maduro has fallen by almost two percentage points since May as declining oil revenue exacerbates product shortages and inflation. Support for the candidates of the opposition alliance and independents rose to 54 percent in July from 50.1 percent in May, according to the poll.

Maduro’s support fell by 1.5 percentage points to 24.3 percent in July, the lowest since January, the survey showed. The poll of 999 households had a margin of error of three percentage points.

Datanalisis estimates that 52 percent of the electorate will participate in the vote. The polling company’s president, Luis Vicente Leon, said last month that abstention favors the government because it has more money, resources and media access to motivate core supporters.

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