PRI has more than 10 points of advantage

By Pedro Valenzuela Parcero

According to the latest poll (with March data) published by BCG-Excélsior, the PRI has an advantage of 13 over the PAN in electoral preferences toward the 2015 midterm elections. the PRI has 36%, followed by the PAN with 22%, PRD with 15%, PVEM with 8%, MORENA with 7%, MC and PANAL with 3%, and the rest with 2%. 

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According to the poll, only 40% of the survey respondents are totally or highly interested in this elections whereas 21% is not very interested. Furthermore, 41% is not identified with any political party.

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Teachers Threaten Elections in Mexico

By STRATFOR Global Intelligence, 03/18/15

Teache15610762165_4dd91cb173_zrs in Guerrero state control the majority of polling stations and are threatening to block voters from participating in Mexico’s June 7 general elections. The Guerrero state teachers’ union, CETEG, has staged violent demonstrations in protest of Mexico’s new education reform, which they allege will disadvantage rural teachers. Their demands are not new, but the movement has gained momentum since CETEG took up the cause of 43 student teachers, known as normalistas, who were abducted and reportedly killed in September. Mexico City has struggled to control the situation and must now decide how to handle elections in the state — and the possibility that they might not happen.

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The Mexico Institute’s 2015 Elections Guide

On June 7th 2015, Mexicans will take to the polls to elect 500 federal deputies, 17 state-level legislatures, 9 governors, and more than 300 mayors. This year´s election is also, of course, a litmus test of public opinion regarding the PRI government of President Enrique Peña Nieto. Much has been made of the President´s low public approval rating, but his party remains the most popular in the eyes of the Mexican electorate, with around 32% in a recent poll. If one adds in the support for the PRI´s coalition partner Green Party, that figure quickly approaches 40%, potentially sufficient to give the governing coalition another majority in the Chamber of Deputies.

The Wilson Center´s Mexico Institute is marking this historic election by launching a new web resource that brings latest polling numbers, analysis and opinion to our readers. The Mexico Institute’s 2015 Elections Guide will be updated daily and will provide a one-stop shop for English language information on the vote.

We hope you enjoy the new resource, and please send us your comments and suggestions so that we can improve the service.

Sincerely,

Duncan Wood

*This post has been modified to correct a statement regarding the ability to reelect members of the Mexican Congress. The reform allowing limited reelection will apply to the deputies and senators elected in the federal elections of 2018, not this election.

Reforma Polls

By Pedro Valenzuela Parcero

On March 26, the newspaper Reforma published its most recent public opinion analysis of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s approval rate. It is important to highlight three key aspects:

1. It seems that the approval rate has stalled at its lowest level and is not going to go lower, at least judging by the changes from previous figures. The approval is 39% for citizens and it drops to 17% for leaders.

2. The perception of Mexico’s problems varies between leaders and civil society. For the former, corruption is the main problem of the country, for the latter, crime is the main problem. 

3. Finally, the way economic issues are handled is what is most disapproved of by both groups, while health, education, and poverty are handled the best, according to citizens; and health and employment according to leaders.

In contrast with the low approval rates for the President, on a new pollster published on March 30 regarding voting intentions for federal deputies, Reforma locates PRI with an effective rate of 32%, PAN 22%, PRD 14%, MORENA 8%, PVEM 7%, ES (Social Encounter) 4%, PANAL 4%, MC 3%, and PT, PH, and independent candidates with 2%.

These results represent a rise for PRI and PRD and a decrease for MORENA, PVEM, and PAN, in comparison to the prior poll. Similarly, there is a surprising 4% for both the new ES party and the PANAL.

These results potentially indicate that the PRI is surpassing the low approval of the President and that the opposition parties have failed to capture that discontent for the Executive branch, with the exception of some small and new parties. Furthermore, it may also mean that some social issues, such as Ayotzinapa or local-level scandals of corruption, have not made a significant change in the mind of the voter. All these numbers are before the formal start of campaigns next Sunday, April 5.

Initial Polls

By Pedro Valenzuela Parcero

Since late last year, the main pollsters in Mexico began to turn their measurements towards the midterm elections of 2015, where the 500 seats in the Chamber of Deputies will be renewed. In the graph below, effective preferences for the top political forces are tracked during this period. Some key findings may be highlighted from it:

Pollsters March 2015

  1. Preferences for the PRI have declined between 10 and 12 percentage points (see Reforma, and El Universal-Buendía and Laredo). This could be a result of several protests and scandals that have affected the Federal government and have clouded the political landscape of the party in power. Still, the party continues to lead the race with around 31% of the potential vote share. 
  1. Preferences for the PAN have increased modestly between 1 and 3 percentage points (see Reforma,El Universal-Buendía and Laredo, and El Financiero-Parametría). The party is consolidated as the second electoral option with a median of 26% of the potential vote share.
  1. Preferences for the PRD have remained relatively stable, down by 2 points according to Reforma but around 13% of the potential vote share. It is clear that, from an electoral standpoint, the main challenge for the PRD is to maintain its position as the largest leftist party, whose votes are compromised with MORENA, the party formed by Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
  1. Following the previous point, the numbers reinforce the idea that the vote share of the left in Mexico will be fragmented, on one side with the PRD and on the other side with MORENA. This last party is shaping up to be one of the first ones in the Mexican electoral history to have no problem reaching the 3% threshold required to keep the national registry, and, according to all polls, is even fighting tooth and nail to become the third or fourth political force. According to surveys, MORENA alone would reach around 9% of the potential vote share.
  1. The PVEM or Partido Verde Ecologista de México, lies a solid 10% in the polls, which puts it in direct competition with both MORENA and slightly behind the PRD to fight for the third position.

Finally, the last three polls from El Universal-Buendía Laredo, Consulta Mitofsky, and El Financiero-Parametría are reproduced in the graph below, from which several conclusions can be highlighted:

Pollsters March 2015_all

Firstly, The PT or Partido del Trabajo concentrates another 3% that would tentatively be also from left-minded voters.

Secondly, MC or Movimiento Ciudadano could reach another 3%, although it is not clear that those votes only represent leftist voters.

Finally, the polls show about 2.5% for the PANAL or Partido Nueva Alianza and 1% for other new parties (Partido Humanista and Encuentro Social). In the first case, it is possible that the PANAL may keep its registry through alliances and in the second case, it is less likely that those new parties would be able to reach the required threshold.

In conclusion, the fight for Congress will be competitive; no party is shaping itself to have a relative majority. Alliances will become key, both to fight for specific districts, but also to vote once the new legislature is in place. Parties like the PVEM and PANAL have the opportunity to ally with the major parties and advance their agendas. On the other hand, the PRD and MORENA are competing to be the biggest party of the left in Mexico and the epicenter of that fight will be Mexico City, where the local congress and municipalities also change in this election. Apparently, PT and MC will keep their registry and the other smaller parties will lose it. Finally, the PAN has the challenge of becoming more competitive and fight for first place in preferences, which the PRI still has.

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