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Every why hath a wherefore

Argentina: Daniel Scioli is now favourite for next President (from IKN310)

This was part of IKN310, out last Sunday evening. It gets an airing here on the open blog because several people have written in inquiring about Argentina political thoughts this week. It’s easier this way.

Argentina 2015 is going to be one special political showtime.

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Argentina: Daniel Scioli is now favourite for next President
To this point, IKN and your author
has had Daniel Scioli as its tentative choice as the 2015 winner in Argentina
politics, first in the PASO (version of primaries) vote in August and then in
the big vote in October to decide who becomes the next President of Argentina. Today
that changes, he’s now clear favourite.
At the beginning of the year I
wrote (11):
“It’s a difficult call this early in the process, but
I’m contractually obliged to make a call on the Argentina
presidential election so the forecast is for Daniel Scioli to be the next
President of Argentina.”
Then a couple of weeks ago in the
Regional Risk update of IKN308 it was:
“…it’s still too early to call anything with great
confidence but things stand so far, my tentative selection of Daniel Scioli for
the win has firmed up and looks a little more likely.”
But a week is a long time in
politics and since then we’ve had two developments; Firstly, the start of the
akin to primaries process (it’s very complicated) has begun in some of the
provinces of Argentina (last
week Salta, today Mendoza
and Santa Fe) and initial results have shown decent support in both relative
and absolute terms for the FpV candidates. That’s the “Frente Para La Victoria
party of both current President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and candidate
Daniel Scioli, often known as the Kirchnerist party or simply the “K”
party.

So early results in PASO votes have been
encouraging for Scioli. Then this morning we have the result of the latest
survey conducted by poll people Poliarquia for
La Nacion (12)
 and here’s the numbers from that. with
notes below:

1) It was a phone survey of 1,000
people, conducted between April 3rd and April 10th. It covered 40 different
representative zones of Argentina
and is given a margin of error of +/-3.2%. For what it’s worth, Poliarquia is
one of the more reliable pollsters in the country and you can tell because
they’re regularly accused of being pro-govt by anti-govt people and anti-govt
by pro-govt people, depending on the poll results on varying subjects they come
out with over the course of time.
2) In Poliarquia’s previous survey
a little less than a month ago (13) Poliarquia
scored Scioli at 31%, Macri 25% and Massa
21%.
3) In March, the news was the
fading of the frontrunner in 2013 and 2014, Sergio Massa (Frente Renovador
party). The latest survey continues to indicate
his wilting.
4) Mauricio Macri’s (PRO party)
share is up from 25% and it’s clear he’s now the main opposition to an eventual
Scioli win and the continuation of the current government in Argentina.
5) Daniel Scioli (FpV party, aka
Kirchnerist) is now the clear leader and consolidating. He and Macri and now
pulling away from Massa
and while here, let’s note that although I’ve added the numbers for two of the
other players at htis point there are only three logical possibles for
President, the rest is just noise.
6) In the deeper interior party details
of the FpV there’s more good news for Daniel Scioli. His nearest rival in the
FpV ranks for the PASO “primary” vote in August is Florencio
Randazzo, and for that August vote Scioli is on 24.5% with Randazzo
back on 12.5%. That’s a big gap and virtually guarantees his official
nomination now (sidebar: Randazzo may now
manoeuver for a leading role within a Scioli admin, or perhaps take the Vice
President candidacy on the Scioli ticket; for deeper political watchers it’s
going to be very interesting to watch Radazzo’s moves in the next few weeks
).
7) Also good for Scioli, in the
politically key Greater Buenos Aires region (not to be confused with the separate and relatively small city centre Buenos Aires zone) Scioli is clear frontrunner on 36%,
with Massa 22%
and Macri 21%. There’s an old adage in Argentina politics that you cannot
win the presidency without winning Gran
BsAs
.
8) Finally, it’s long been assumed
(and confirmed by polls) that if the
Presidential vote gives no clear winner on October 25th, a run-off between
Daniel Scioli and Sergio Massa
would be tough to call but a run-off between Daniel Scioli and Mauricio Macri
clearly favours Scioli. As that latter is now the most likely scenario, even
the run-off is beginning to suit Scioli.
Bottom
line:

I’m calling the frontrunner and the most likely challenger, I’m also calling
the favourite but please be clear that I’m not calling the winner. It’s still
not over yet, not by a long haul, but
we can now say out loud that Daniel Scioli is favourite to win in October (with
a run-off likely in November) and become the next President of Argentina
.
It’s also worth noting that to this point the election campaign has been rather
non-controversial and little scandal noise has come so far, which is
particularly weird for Argentine politics. It remains to be seen whether the
relatively clean campaign continues though it’s probably fair to say that the
longer things remain “civilized” the more it favours the two
frontrunners. As for an eventual Scioli win, ostensibly this would mean a
continuation of the current Cristina government and policies as they’re from
the same but it’s also likely that Scioli would be more moderate than CFK, in
the mid to long term at least. We can take a closer look at the dynamics of
that if the scenario continues to indicate
Scioli as dauphin in the months
to come.
Mauricio Macri is now the obvious
challenger, which is a change from the beginning of the year when I wrote (11),
Main opponent is Massa, in with a squeak is Macri, outsider
Randazzo, the rest are just noise
” at the end of December. Son of a
very rich and successful businessman as well as being current Mayor of Buenos
Aires city and president of Boca Juniors football club, Macri comes from as
classic a right wing neoliberal political standpoint as you could imagine. If
he became President, it would mark a big shift in Argentine politics to the
type of “normal” economic policies we see in most industrialized and emerging market growth
countries. It would also be a move away from the shadow of Juan Peron (although Macri is bound to swear blind his
allegiance to Peron in the months to come
). You can expect his candidacy to
gain strong support from political and media figures outside of Argentina
looking in.

It’s going to be fun.

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