Green Party presidential candidate Antanas Mockus is leading the race for Colombia’s May election for the first time. The former Bogota mayor surpassed former defense minister Juan Manuel Santos and is now leading with nine points in a poll held by broadcaster RCN and Semana magazine.
In the poll held this weekend and released Monday, the percentage of those planning to vote for Santos in the first round of the election dropped to 29%, compared to 38% for Mockus.
These figures represent a fall of one percentage point for Santos compared to the last survey carried out by the same pollsters, on April 13 and 14, and a climb of 18 percentage points for Mockus. In that poll Santos was still in the lead with 30% of intended votes, while Mockus was on 20%.
Monday’s poll found that if no candidate received more than 50% of the votes in the first round and a second round was held between the leading two, Mockus would beat Santos 50% to 37%.
A poll held by newscaster CM& last week showed that Mockus had caught up with his main rival, and was only one percentage point behind, on 34% to Santos’ 35% of intended votes. The CM& poll showed that in a second round Mockus would beat Santos with 50% versus 44%.
The increasing popularity of Mockus has surprised analysts and political opponents, who so far have seemed unable to stop the “green wave,” despite attacks on Mockus’ proposed security policies.