Less than a month before the presidential election in Peru, the clearest and most mixed data in opinion polls taken before does not go to any candidate, but rather to indecision. More than a third of potential voters are in the categories of “white”, “defective”, “null”, “indeterminate” and the like: they do not know, and they have not decided, what to do with their vote. This 35% frequency contrasts sharply with an average presidential Who tops the polls so far is shy: Uni Lescano (9.4%); George Forsyth (9%); Keiko Fujimori (7%) and Veronica Mendoza (6.4%).
This composition has been consistent in opinion polls in Peru since the country’s turbulent year-end, with three presidents in the space of a few weeks and a public mobilization that the Peruvian political scientist Alberto Vergara then described as “citizens without a republic”: a spontaneous measure to pull the country off the brink of the precipice he set. Part of its political elites in it after the evacuation of Martin Vizcarra through a process that still raises serious doubts among the Peruvian constitutionalists, and his replacement by the dubious Congressman Manuel Merino, which will hardly last. A few days in office because of these protests.
Those citizens looking for a republic, for a more stable democratic structure, April 11 was elected as their first milestone. But the polls shed no light on those who today prefer to be entrusted with the responsibility of institutional reconstruction. In fact, in these same polls, the average candidate with the most votes in any of them is only decreasing: it has already reached a ridiculous 11%.
The reason is the massive fragmentation in voting that is maintained at all polls. At the moment, the two standard candidates are not: Yoni Lescano (Popular Action) and George Forsyth (National Victory) have followed opposite directions; The first is up, the second is down. Both have entrenched their campaign in a focused message on fighting corruption and changing leadership, but that doesn’t seem to say much in an election specifically marked by a mistrust of established elites.
Keiko Fujimori, who ranks third apparently unchanged in the polls, is also trying to anchor himself in that conversation. The daughter of the region’s most notorious former Peruvian president is undergoing a legal process in which the Public Prosecution Office requests 30 years imprisonment specifically for money laundering, obstruction of justice, criminal organization, and lies in administrative proceedings. This burden, along with all of his personal, institutional and family pasts, makes it extremely difficult to keep up with a campaign that has marked the old and new political axis. It is likely that it is because of this that he is increasingly using his rhetoric in a position close to the reactionary right.
Meanwhile, another woman attending this first round has certain demographic prospects: Veronica Mendoza is only 41 years old but has spent a large portion of her practicing politics from the left in the Peruvian Nationalist Party; Now in alliance together for Peru. His candidacy is the ideologically clearest of all who now stand out at the polls (he attended, for example, the president’s inauguration. Evista Louis Ars in Bolivia). Courtesy of Rafael López Aliaga, whose voting intent grew in 2021: Entrepreneur first, Conservative politician later, bases his rise (still shy in tiers but bent in direction) on traditional values with a strong Catholic flavor.
The average amount of intent to vote for all of them and many others, however, is so small that they remain within the margin of error not only technically, but inevitably politically in the face of elections that take place without a clear compass. In candidates’ speeches, the usual ideological norms conflict, rather than intertwine, with an arduous attempt to marry the anti-elite position with the need for stable institutional foundations.
In an effort to clarify the panorama a little more, the survey house Ipsos published a somewhat different exercise on March 11th. Instead of asking about their intention to vote, and leaving the field open to hesitant options, they forced those surveyed to deposit a card in a simulated ballot box. Result: 21% for Lescano, 14% for Forsyth, 11.6% for Lopez Aliaga. Fujimori and Mendoza stayed above 10%. With five nominations squeezed into just ten points, and none accumulating even a quarter of the vote, the immense uncertainty with which Peru is advancing towards a decisive vote cannot even be dispelled.