This is the uncertain presidential election of the last three decades.
Chile goes to the polls this Sunday to elect its next president – and to renew the majority of parliament – amid a highly polarized situation, surprises have not been ruled out.
According to various estimates, of the seven presidential contenders in the race, none survived. 30% adhesionAnd a large number of undecided in this process, not identified with any of the candidates.
In addition, fluctuations in approvals have been a trend in recent months, with each of them maintaining a different level of voting intent, which varies from week to week.
“From 1989 until today, we always knew who the next president of Chile was two years ago. Now, the uncertainty is complete,” Adolfo Ibanes, a doctor of political philosophy and a university professor, told BBC Mundo. Cristobal Bellolio.
“Citizens are very vulnerable and are affected by what happens every day. The truth is, we have had leading candidates over the last few months that are lasting two weeks and falling,” he added.
The political scientist holds the same opinion Kenneth Bunker.
“Everything is possible; it’s a very open choice. There is a constant shift in the line of options we have not seen before. Many things are happening, they are forcing candidates to change their position and forcing voters to do the same,” he told BBC Mundo.
What factors explain this high level of uncertainty and what are the possible scenarios that can be configured after the results?
Distrust in surveys
Uncertainty is triggered by Distrust of opinion polls, An event that affects most of the world.
The accuracy of its results makes it difficult to accurately calculate who citizens will vote for.
A clear example of what happened Presidential primary election, The poll, conducted in Chile in July this year, has been around for months, pointing to two major preferences Daniel Jade, By left volume, and Joaquin Lavin, Right.
But none of them succeeded. They imposed themselves Gabriel Boric, Broad front, and Sebastian Chichel, Center-right support for an independent candidate.
According to experts, the accuracy of public opinion polls is affected by a variety of factors, including voluntary voting, its regularity (telephone and online surveys have become increasingly harmful to onlookers), as well as cash flow.
The fall of traditional parties
These elections have another peculiarity: the first election after them Social explosionBeginning in October 2019, Chile was rocked by the questioning of the political and economic system that had prevailed since the return of democracy in 1990, and the establishment of demands such as the reform of the pension system addressed in the debate. , Health and education
Somehow, it integrated New political forces Those who rocked the Chilean political scene and came to instill a good deal of uncertainty in these elections.
According to various predictions of election experts, two of the candidates who can win the election Jose Antonio Cast Y. Borick, They do not belong to the traditional parties, but to the far right, the first and the broad front, the second.
This is an unimaginable scenario a few years ago, considering the two successive presidential terms of power in this South American country over the past 16 years. Michael Bachelet (2006-2010 and 2014-2018), by two more Sebastian Pinera (2010-2014 and 2018 to date).
Now, the candidates representing those forces –Yasna Provoste, Center left, and Chichel, Center-right – Failed to monopolize options.
“Today we are facing the complete collapse of the discriminatory political scales we were accustomed to in Chile,” Bellolo said.
The political scientist notes that the preference for traditional parties has greatly decreased in recent years.
“For example, in 1999, two of the traditional parties’ presidential candidates, Ricardo Lagos and Joaquin Lavin, together won 98% of the vote. Their vote share began to decline, although they also reached 60% of the vote.
Now, however, the incredible thing is that the two representatives of those alliances, Chichel and Provoste, Didn’t even make it to the second round, He points out.
“I think the social explosion is over Bury the two political cultures of change, Center-left and center-right, it never seems to be much updated and submissive, ”says Bellolio.
To a researcher at the Center for Public Studies (CEP) Carmen Lay FallonThis is a process that has been around for a long time, in fact it is part of the causes of social protests.
“As a result of the gradual loss of political party identity, votes are not incorporated into party identities; this is not a long-term, predictable vote,” he told BBC Mundo.
This opens the door to more serious options, a Center It looks weak.
Due to huge uncertainty and voting errors, it is difficult today to predict who will lead these elections.
The first thing to keep in mind There won’t even be a winner this SundayIn other words, none of the candidates received an immediate majority of 50% +1 votes to become president.
How many people will vote (who will vote) is an important factor to consider. This is because it is one of the most pressing questions for Chilean election experts Voluntary voting In 2012, most elections — both presidential, municipal and other — were characterized by a small number of voters.
In Second roundIt will take place on Sunday, December 19th – the two most voted options in this first round.
One of the most cited scenes by analysts consulted by BBC Mundo points to that Boric y box They are the ones who will get the most votes.
Cast is not the candidate for the official constituency of Chile Potemos Mass, but the leader Republican Party —The coalition is further to the right— was able to garner votes from Sebastian Chichel and double its support under the government’s promise to fight insecurity, drug trafficking and displacement.
“The right generally has 40% support. Of that 40%, about 30% will come from Kast.
Another scene they bet on Borik and Yasna Provoste, From the center-left competing in the second round.
This means a A blow to the government of Sebastian Pinera And his alliance.
“Provost is from a political coalition that is much larger than Cost. Many candidates around Chile are campaigning with Provost.
On the other hand, despite opinion polls showing Cost being favored, he was on the side of criticism during the last presidential debate on Monday, November 15, while Chichel’s performance was widely celebrated in his field.
According to experts, this could (again) change the preferences of voters. So, another possible scenario opens up: Chichel passes to the second round (not the cast) and he is the one who competes with Borik or eventually Yasna Provoste.
Candidates with fewer options will be more progressive Marco Enriquez-Ominami, Eduardo Artes (From far left) and Franco Paris, Who lives in the United States, did not campaign in person in Chile or participate in presidential debates.
If any of them go to the second round, it will be a very surprising result.
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