Peru: Ollanta Humala leads the vote according to latest polls
May 4, 2011
On 10 April, left-wing former army officer Ollanta Humala won the first round of Peru's presidential election with 31.7% of the votes and will face right-wing lawmaker Keiko Fujimori in what is likely to be a tight run-off presidential election on 5 June. According to latest polls elaborated by three research firms after the first-round election, Ollanta Humala leads the vote, although he is closely followed by his opponent. As a result, markets remain cautious until there is more evidence on the outcome in the weeks to come. In a national poll published on 29 April by research firm Datum International, Ollanta Humala obtained 41.5% of the vote over Fujimori, who received 40.3% of voter preferences. Another poll issued on 1 May by Imasen, gave a wider lead to leftist-leader Humala, who received 42.0% of the votes, while congresswoman Fujimori obtained 37.8%. The latest poll issued on 4 May by Ipsos Apoyo, in contrast, showed Humala moderating to 39.0% of the votes, while Fujimori gained traction with 38.0%. According to research firms and local analysts, both candidates have secured a core vote of about 80% (voters who stated that they will not change their preferences), while the remaining 20% of voters are planning to abstain or will change their preference before the election. Moreover, while Keiko Fujimori leads in Peru's capital Lima, Ollanta Humala has significant support in the interior, in particular the centre and south of the country. By socio-economic levels, Fujimori leads among the wealthiest segments of the population, whereas Humala leads the preferences among lower income groups. Although Humala has somewhat softened his radical leftist tone, framing himself more in the likes of former Brazilian President Lula rather than populist leaders of Ecuador and Venezuela, markets remain jittery about his official economic policy platform, as the left-leaning nationalist candidate hopes to modify Peru's constitution, in part to give the state a greater role in the economy. Meanwhile, market participants welcome more Fujimori's credentials, as she is viewed as a more market-friendly candidate than Humala and is expected to maintain the current economic policy, fiscal discipline and the Central Bank autonomy. However, in order to fund social programs both candidates agree to favour higher taxes on mining companies, which are enjoying windfall profits as a result of the elevated global prices for minerals, especially for copper and silver (the country's main minerals exports).
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist