Meera: Argentina 2023 election results: Massa wins first round to face Miley in second
Massa, the candidate of the Unión por la Patria coalition, received 36.54% of the vote compared to Milei, the representative of La Libertad Avanza, who received 30.06% according to 96.31% of the tables. Conservative Alliance for Change candidate Patricia Bullrich came in third with 24%. All three have positioned themselves as contenders in this election, something not seen in recent decades.
With the run-off confirmed, Massa and Miley are now looking for support to win the presidency. “The crack is dead and a new stage is beginning,” the official said. “All of us who want change need to work together,” said the libertarian who wants to dollarize the economy and eliminate the central bank, for his part.
Trade Torcuato di Tella University spoke with Argentine political scientist Juan Negri about the election result, who expects a close campaign with tough challenges for both candidates.
– How do you explain Sergio Massa’s success?
This has come as a big surprise. I think Miley had a fear. That is, being perceived as a leap into the unknown, a candidate with illusory propositions, and an influx of new voters hurt him. Milei hasn’t lost votes, but she hasn’t grown since the primaries, she’s stagnant, and this has to do with the fear of a candidate with such crazy proposals.
– Why was Massa able to use Mili’s fear and not Bullrich?
After the primaries, I believe Massa will emerge as the clearest anti-Miley candidate. For much of the campaign, leading up to PASO, Bulrich and Millay had many similarities. The result of the primaries, in which Miley came in first, makes Massa’s job easier. Because when Miley first comes out the election turns out to be a kind of Miley or anti-Miley, which Massa was better prepared to deal with.
– How much did the current government’s performance weigh on Masa’s success?
Masa’s qualifications have separated his candidature from the government administration. That is, it is very difficult to support a government with such weak numbers. Indeed, Peronism has produced the worst presidential election in history. We speak of a Peronism that draws a virtue from necessity, that draws water from stones, but in reality this is a very poor choice for Peronism. It is already amazing that Masa has come first as the Minister of Economy in this government.
—Polls showed Miley as the clear favorite, but in the end he received the same percentage of the vote as he did in the primary. What does this decision mean for Miley?
Miley tried to appear positive and cheerful about her campaign command, but the truth was that there must have been an air of defeat in her environment. There was an expectation that he would start first and finish second, and I think there was a major element of disappointment.
In order to attract more votes, Miley needs to rethink her strategy, which means resorting to moderation. How hard will it be for him?
It will be difficult for him. After learning the results, he tried it in a speech. He has tried to appear more moderate, insisting that citizens will not lose their rights, but Massa is more willing to make a more centrist speech than he is, and it remains to be seen how Mili will respond to the challenge. In his favor, the massa economy is in such a bad state that it can be a tool to help him.
– Where can Patricia Bullrich’s votes go?
I believe the deeply anti-Peronist Patricia Bulrich has a lot of votes, so there is a significant chance it will go to Mili. Usually, this second round is very close.
– Both Massa and Miley tried to build bridges with other political forces. What do you expect from the new campaign that is getting underway?
I see Massa building towards the center, with a plural, broad discourse, democracy and anti-democracy for everyone, students, retirees, business people. Also, I see Miley as engaging in a discourse of continuity and anti-change, a discourse against more Kirchnerism.