As in any election, the pollsters differ in their analysis as to what will happen in Argentina’s midterm elections when the votes are counted.
Although experts all speak of a similar scenario to the PASO primaries, some forecast a bigger margin for the opposition Juntos coalition in the key battleground of Buenos Aires Province. Others show the government narrowing the gap.
Yet they all agree that turnout, which until now has especially affected the government, will be a determining factor.
Seven of Argentina’s top pollsters were asked three questions: their forecast for Buenos Aires Province, the determining factors and future quorum in the Senate. On the latter point there was agreement that Kirchnerism would have its work cut out to retain control of the Senate.
What the pollsters say
Shila Vilker, of the Trespuntozero consultancy firm, visualises “similar results [to the PASO] nationwide while narrowing the difference a bit in BA Province, which is open-ended with many still undecided, 11 percent,” to which should be added the question of turnout, which will grow by eight points in her estimate. A further key, she maintains, will be whether tactical voting will finally prevail or whether there will be dispersion.
“I believe the grieta chasm will end up coming out ahead,” she says.
At pollsters Opinaia they see a “stable and consistent difference” between the two main parties, but even so consider it “probable that it may be reduced due to the Peronist capacity of mobilisation.” Such is the explanation of the firm’s Public Opinion Director Juan Mayol, who further considers that the government’s economic measures will “have had no tangible effect” although “their rhetorical impact should not be despised.”
“With one week to go, the forecast is a repeat of the scenario of the primaries,” describes Facundo Nejamkis, of Opina Argentina, while explaining: “Some votes may be regained with a more homogeneous campaign agenda, less rifts and showing concern for resolving problems, to which should be added the material incentives given by the government and finally the mobilisation of the Peronist party machine.”
Political consultant Carlos Fara does not see any novelties in the scenario.
“The government has tried to modify expectations with a change of Cabinet and new measures but neither of those things had the desired effect,” he argues. He views new Cabinet chief Juan Manzur as having just as negative an image as President Alberto Fernández, while the measures “were seen as the last acts of desperate men.”
“I see their potential public as reluctant to vote because they do not want to vote for Juntos but nor do they want to help the government to win the election,” he concludes.
Synopsis pollsters have decided not to publish any numbers for this voting but Lucas Romero advances that he is not seeing “any kind of evidence to make us think that the difference can be reduced.”
On the contrary, looking at the antecedents, he maintains that “there have been some very marked dynamics for the main rivals of Kirchnerism to grow more between the PASO primaries and the midterms, a pattern which the government needs to break drastically.”
This chimes in with the analysis of Nicolás Solari, of Real Time Data.
“It will be in line with what happened in the PASO primaries. Juntos might stretch the distance by a couple of points because that is what usually happens between the PASO and the midterms,” he expressed.
He believes that the economy and “inconsistencies” in the official rhetoric have determined “this election, to which should be added an inorganic campaign, a lack of commitment, a disjointed government and the lack of a figure and a convincing narrative.”
“It’s a very hollow campaign and the results will show that,” agrees Federico Aurelio of Aresco, who does not risk numbers either but highlights that turnout will be decisive and that a key factor for Juntos will be the loyalty of the Facundo Manes vote (“they still have a way to go”).
“And when the differences are so close, it is the undecided who will decide the electoral result,” he anticipates.