Experts assess that there has been a “weakening of the traditional right” and some voters are calling for change

With just over a month left until the 1st round of presidential elections in Argentina, to be held on October 22, candidates Sergio Massa and Patrícia Bullrich are aiming for the so-called “useful vote” to reduce the favoritism of Javier Milei, a right-wing candidate who He won the country’s primaries and leads the voting intention polls.

Useful voting is when the voter stops voting for the candidate with which they identify and strategically votes for another in order to prevent a third candidate from being elected. Two experts interviewed by Poder360 assess that the situation is “uncertain”although they present divergent analyzes regarding possible electoral scenarios.

According to the economist and political scientist graduated from the University of Buenos Aires Eduardo Crespo, candidate Patricia Bullrich, also on the right, “it is weakening”while the current Economy Minister, Sergio Massa, adopts the strategy of expanding political consensus, calling for a “national unity” so that Milei is not elected.

For the assistant professor at Irid (Institute of International Relations and Defense) at UFRJ, the candidate supported by former Argentine president Mauricio Macri runs the risk of losing votes instead of gaining the support of voters on the right, especially the so-called moderate right. or center-right.

Bullrich, from the coalition Together for Change, defeated the mayor of Buenos Aires, Horacio Larreta, in the Argentine primaries, held on August 13. Both have a profile aligned with the traditional right, although Larreta is considered more moderate.

“She would not be holding Larreta’s vote. So it would tend to polarize in the first round of the elections. I’m talking about a scenario that is not yet certain. It’s a probability. But it would be a polarizing situation between Milei and Massa”, says the expert. He further says that the election can be decided in the 1st round.

The doctor in international relations and professor at Faap (Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado) Lucas Leite assesses that there is an attempt on the part of Massa and Bullrich to moderate the speeches a little “in contrast to the idea of ​​radicalization proposed by Milei” and that the issue of useful votes gains more strength in the 2nd round, which he believes will be necessary.

According to the expert, Massa and Bullrich will have difficulties in gathering useful votes for the 1st round.

“Because [eles] Don’t they have this ability to gather useful votes? Because the sides, in general, of the economy, which would be the left for Massa and Patrícia for the right, do not present objectively what their economic plans are. There is a great fear of presenting what these economic plans would be precisely because they could alienate voters”Explain.

The professor also analyzes that the Argentine primaries did not make it clear what the vote of voters on the right and left will be.

“They [as primárias] they indicate more or less where the election will go, but still in a somewhat insipid way because, for example, we didn’t necessarily have a combination of what would be a vote from the left and the center-left, especially against a right-winger”said Leite.

“In the same way, we also didn’t have an exact idea of ​​what the right-wing vote will be, since, like in other countries, like Brazil, it is dispersed”explained the expert.


Three possible configurations for the 2nd round were evaluated by the experts. Are they:

  • Sergio Massa X Patricia Bullrich:

Eduardo Crespo considers it to be “very unlikely” that voters vote for the right-wing candidate so that she can go to the 2nd round in place of Javier Milei. “If nothing too strange happens, Milei has a high chance of going to the 2nd round and I think [ele] You also have a chance of winning in the 1st round.”these.

Lucas Leite says he is a “possibility”. According to the expert, the idea is that Milei would lose strength, perhaps due to a greater turnout and if part of the Argentine population is “scared” with the right-wing speech. This way, the right-wing vote would be directed towards Bullrich.

The Argentine primaries had a record abstention of 30.38%, despite voting being mandatory in the country. A higher turnout in the 1st round could make a difference. “But I still think the difference [entre Bullrich e Milei] it’s big”he pondered.

  • Javier Milei X Patricia Bullrich:

According to Leite, this scenario is the least favorable considering voting intention surveys.

“I believe it is more difficult because, in general, the Peronist base tends to have a significant vote. This scenario would only happen if, in fact, part of the votes from the center-left, from the center, migrated to Patrícia and there was a maintenance of Milei’s votes”these.

Crespo claims that this panorama is “a little more likely” than the 1st scenario. He says, however, that research “they are not indicating this, because, among other things, Peronism has a vote base that will not fall much” of the 21.4% that Massa had in the primaries. “For people to leave, in this first election, Peronism to vote for Bullrich, I think it’s unlikely”he assessed.

  • Javier Milei X Sergio Massa:

Leite assesses that this scenario “it is also possible, especially if Patrícia’s votes go towards Milei himself”.

The doctor in international relations also analyzes that this would be a “complicated”.

“We would have a scenario similar to what Bolsonaro’s election was in relation to Haddad. There was an emptying of the right and basically everyone migrated to vote for Bolsonaro. We could see this happen if dissatisfaction [dos eleitores] is much greater than the attempt to maintain the current political system and if there is a search to break this status quo of these parties that, in general, have been in the dispute for many years”these.

Political scientist Eduardo Crespo also says that this panorama is “a little more likely” in relation to the other 2 presented. He also talks about the “weakening of the traditional right” not country, something that Bullrich would throw into dispute.

“The moderate right has disappeared from the board and this hole is filled by a very populist right, which presents itself as outside the system. This is one element. To this you have to add that Milei [pode] get Peronism’s vote because the situation is very complicated. Today, understandably, many people are calling for change.”he stated.

This report was produced in partnership with Journalism intern Evellyn Paola under the supervision of assistant editor Ighor Nóbrega.


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