Argentine Front-Runner on Verge of First Round Win: Polls

  • Ruling party's Scioli needs at least 40% on Oct. 25 to win
  • A second round against runner-up would be held Nov. 22

Argentina’s ruling party candidate Daniel Scioli is within a fraction of winning in the first round of presidential elections to be held Oct. 25, polls show.

An average of four polls viewed by Bloomberg show Scioli close to surpassing the threshold of 40 percent with a 10 percentage point lead needed to avoid the first run-off in Argentina’s history.

“We can’t tell today if there will be a run-off or not,” Ricardo Rouvier, director of polling company Ricardo Rouvier & Asociados, told reporters in Buenos Aires on Tuesday. “Both things are possible.”

While Scioli enjoys a comfortable lead in the first round, surveys show the opposition would pose a bigger challenge in a run-off on Nov. 22. Some polls show Mauricio Macri, who has an average of 28.8 percent of intended votes for the first round, would close the gap to within the margin of error, while at least two polls show that dissident Peronist Sergio Massa would defeat Scioli.

“All of the run-off scenarios are very closely contested,” Mariel Fornoni, director of polling firm Management & Fit, said in the same press conference. “The difference is just three percentage points” between Scioli and Macri.

Rouvier said voter intentions are likely to swing dramatically if the election goes to a second round and an accurate survey will only be possible once the first round is over.

After results took almost 12 hours to be confirmed in August’s primary elections, the electoral authority has said it will speed up the process of transporting and counting ballots. Still, if there are calls for a recount, it may take a week before the country knows whether there will be a second round, according to the electoral council.

Argentina’s Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner will hand over the presidency on Dec. 10 after two consecutive terms in office.

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