Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

Peru’s Presidential Vote by the Numbers

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on April 13, 2011

by Fabiola Cordova for Americas Quarterly Online, April 11th, 2011.

Over the past few months, multiple hopefuls have emerged, surged and then collapsed in the race to become Peru’s next president. Former Lima Mayor Luis Castañeda, the first to declare his candidacy, led early polls, but finished a distant fifth place in Sunday’s vote. Former President Alejandro Toledo, whose support hovered around 30 percent in many polls, was expected to coast into the second-round vote. Instead, he finished in fourth place. Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, a less-than-well-known technocrat, was polling at five percent only a month before the election, but he surged in recent weeks with strong support from businesses and young voters and finished a strong third place on Sunday. Congresswoman Keiko Fujimori—daughter of former President Alberto Fujimori—had difficulties moving beyond her father’s traditional support base (around 20 percent of the electorate), but with the moderate vote split between three candidates this was enough to pass on to the second round. Two-time presidential candidate Ollanta Humala tapped into many Peruvians’ dissatisfaction with the lopsided distribution of wealth that has accompanied the rapid growth of recent years, and surged from 10 percent to 30 percent support in only a few weeks.

Now Humala will face Fujimori in the June 5 runoff.

Results by the Numbers

The Peruvian civil society group Transparencia-Perú conducted an election-day observation and quick count predicting the following final results (with a 1.5 percent margin of error):

Ollanta Humala (Gana Perú)                                                       31.3 percent
Keiko Fujimori (Fuerza 2011)                                                     23.2 percent
Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (Alianza por el Gran Cambio)    18.7 percent
Alejandro Toledo (Perú Posible)                                               15.9 percent
Luis Castañeda (Alianza Solidaridad Nacional)                 10.0 percent

Both Transparencia-Perú and the Organization of American States (OAS) election-monitoring delegation reported very few irregularities. Electoral authorities also seem to have addressed the technical problems that delayed the results of last year’s Lima mayoral election.

These results also reflect recent polling trends that showed Humala with a clear advantage over the other candidates. Keiko Fujimori maintained her core support of around 20 percent. And moderate voters did, in fact, split their votes between the three other candidates, who all had similar campaign platforms and were unable to join forces. Notably, Humala and Fujimori have the highest voter disapproval rates at around 40 percent each. Peruvian writer and Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa famously quipped that this scenario “would be a choice between AIDS and cancer.”

Humala and Fujimori’s commitment to democratic principles remain largely in question and they represent the opposite extremes of Peru’s political spectrum. According to many observers, the fragmentation, overall weakness and personality-driven nature of Peru’s party system helps explain the split of moderate votes. (continue reading… )



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