Six polls were released in Colombia over the past few days, given a clear picture of who is likely to win the second round of the presidential election on May 17.
All polls coincide that the conservative candidate, Ivan Duque, continues to lead the poll, having consolidated the support he obtained in the first round that he won with 39.14% against the 25.08% of the votes.
His leftist rival, Gustavo Petro, is behind between six and 20 percentage points, depending on the pollsters/
Latest election polls
Some polls have done several measurements already and have indicated that Petro is catching up. Apparently, he has neem more successful in appealing to many of the centrist supporters of Sergio Fajardo and Humberto de la Calle who left the race after the first round.
On average, Duque can count on the support of 50% of the participants in six polls. Petro is lagging behind with 37%. The remaining 13% are people who said they would cast a blank ballot.
Over the past few days, the leftist candidate also received the endorsement of prominent anti-corruption advocates from the center of the Colombian political spectrum, with whom he shares the concern that the election of the conservative candidate could plunge the country back into armed conflict.
This could inflate his popularity easily over the past week because, until last week, the center refused to endorse any candidate.
Whether this is enough for an electoral victory is impossible to say; Petro may have the support from renowned intellectuals, scholars, minority groups and human rights organizations, but Duque can count on powerful political clans, business associations, the far right and a large part of Colombia’s staunchly conservative electorate.
Duque has avoided taking up his opponent in political debates; In previous debates he was constantly reminded about his lack of experience and ties to criminal elements in politics. Petro on the other hand is a talented debater who finally had the chance to explain the meaning of social democracy to the country’s conservative audience.
The last week before the elections, during which public rallies are prohibited by electoral law, the two candidates will have to depend on media performances and private political rallies to convince voters to either switch camps or abandon abstentionism.
While chances for a victory for Petro have increased, whether his anti-corruption coalition is able to defeat the “machinery” of political dynasties may still be a bridge too far.