Argentina recently held their primary elections for the leadership of the country. The so-called “PASO” elections are essentially a prelude to the general presidential elections. Those who receive less than 1.5% of the vote are barred from participating in the general elections which will take place in October.
Peronism, represented by former Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and Alberto Fernández, was the clear winner in the primaries. Their strongest competition came from Mauricio Macri and Miguel Ángel Pichetto.
With exceptions such as the Córdoba province, the majority of the country voted for the left-wing Peronist party. Fernández-Fernández polled at up to 50% in nearly every province in Argentina, while Macri and Pichetto struggled to hit 40% in many areas. The elections showcase the strong economic discomfort in Argentina, especially over the last two years, where currency devaluation and wage decreases have hurt Argentinian standards of living. Curiously, this was the exact reason Macri emerged victorious in 2015.
With the majority of votes counted, Fernandez pulled in around 48% of the votes nationwide, while Macri received around 33%. The most surprising thing was that most of the surveys taken ahead of the elections anticipated a tie, or Fernandez winning by only a small margin. In the four provinces where the majority of Argentine votes are concentrated, Macri managed to pull out a victory in two. Fernandez’s victory in the other two, coupled with winning in most of the rest of the country, put him ahead by a wide margin. Fernandez’s victory in Buenos Aires alone was nearly decisive, as 37% of voters are concentrated in the Argentine capital.
The other parties who participated in the primaries had mostly insignificant results. The next most popular candidate was Roberto Lavagna, who got only around 8.0% of the vote. Aside from Lavagna, only three other parties got more than the 1.5% need to allow them to at least participate come October. In total, six parties will compete in the October general elections, although some may drop out in advance.