Colombian pollsters claim that a law preventing them from publicizing polls in the week leading up to the election is the reason for the striking discrepancy between their predictions and Sunday’s presidential election results, Caracol Radio reported Monday.
According to the president of Gallup Colombia, Jorge Londoño, pollsters were prevented from publicizing the fact that in the last seven days leading up the election, Partido de la U presidential candidate Juan Manuel Santos gained a lot of ground against Green Party’s Antanas Mockus.
The last published poll, released on Friday May 21, showed both Santos and Mockus at a “technical tie,” with each candidate garnering roughly 35% of the vote. However, the results from the actual election on Sunday showed very different numbers, with Santos winning 46.57% to Mockus’ 21.47%.
Londoño explained that he did notice the shifting momentum in the last week, and cited his firm’s internal polls and studies, which they were not allowed to publish, showing Santos’ numbers rising as a result of mistakes made by Mockus during debates.
Cesar Valderrama, the president of polling firm Datexco, echoed his fellow pollster in saying that his company’s internal studies and polls showed that Santos turned the tables on Mockus in the last week, but that they were also prevented from publishing the results due to national law.
Both Londoño and Valderrama called on the National Electoral Council to lift the ban on publishing polls in the last seven days before an election, for it hurts their companies.
Because neither Santos nor Mockus gained more than 50% of the vote in the first round of the election, the two will now go head-to-head in a second round election scheduled for June 20.