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Chile to hold runoff vote on presidential candidates


Chile to hold runoff vote on presidential candidates

Photo: Elvis Gonzalez/EFE/Folhapress

Chilean voters will head to the polls today for a second phase of voting in a presidential election.

This runoff was prompted after none of the seven original candidates won a majority after an earlier vote on November 21. As such, the two candidates with the highest vote shares in the first round will face off today. Former student leader and head of the left-wing Apruebo Dignidad coalition Gabriel Boric will face off against the far-right populist and head of the Republican Party, Jose Antonio Kast.

While Kast won a slightly larger share of the initial vote, polling from early December showed that Boric held a slight edge. For two weeks before Chilean elections, news outlets are prohibited from releasing public polls, though private polling currently shows the two candidates are neck-and-neck.

Expect voter turnout to dictate the election result. Boric holds a strong lead among voters under 30—a demographic with traditionally low turnout. If turnout among young voters is weak, expect Kast to narrowly edge out Boric to become Chile’s next president. Further, if elected, expect him to pass a wide array of economic reforms, including corporate tax cuts and the controversial privatization of the state-owned Codelco copper company.

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