Argentina's ruling party candidate leads poll

The ruling candidate who initially was questioned over his loyalty is now leading the polls.

Argentina's ruling party candidate leads poll

World Bulletin / News Desk

The ruling party's candidate for president of Argentina, who faced doubts about his loyalty to outgoing leader Cristina Fernandez, has won over the party faithful and surged ahead of the pro-business opposition, a poll released on Monday showed.

Buenos Aires Governor Daniel Scioli, of Fernandez's Front for Victory party, has 35.1 percent of voter intentions compared with 26.9 percent held by the capital's Mayor Mauricio Macri, his closest rival, according to the survey by pollster Ricardo Rouvier & Associates. The election is in October.

Fernandez hard-liners had voiced fear that Scioli would favor business at the expense of social programs championed by the outgoing leader. But Macri, who vows to open up the country to international investment by quickly ending Fernandez's interventionist policies, seems to scare them even more.

"The poll shows Scioli has captured the entire vote of the Front for Victory," Rouvier said in an interview. "The party has accepted Cristina's endorsement of Scioli, whether or not people really like him."

The Front for Victory accounts for about 30 percent of the national vote. The poll results varied wildly from Rouvier's preceding survey, taken on June 12, which had Macri leading Scioli 25.5 percent to 23.4 percent. A good gauge of Scioli and Macri's support will come in the August party primaries.

The poll of 1,200 voters had a margin of error of about 3 percentage points. It was the first published since Scioli picked a key Fernandez advisor as his running mate earlier this month.

Fernandez, constitutionally barred from seeking a third term in October, has established trade and currency controls that have weighed down Latin America's No. 3 economy while government fiscal accounts deteriorate due to high state spending.

"Overall, we continue to expect a somewhat competitive election with Scioli favored to win," Eurasia Group said in a note to clients. "While slowly, we also expect policy to improve under Scioli."

If policy were to go in a more business-friendly direction, allowing foreign companies to send dividends out of the country, investment would likely increase in Argentina's promising shale oil fields and its already well-established grains sector.

Fernandez, whose allies will seek to strengthen their control of Congress in the October general election, may run for president again in 2019.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Haziran 2015, 02:58