Polls show tight results ahead of the second round of Argentina’s presidential elections. The campaign, long and painful, ended with two candidates almost tied, representing two antagonistic models. On the one hand, the Minister of Economy of a country that has seen inflation that has grown in recent years to exceed 140%, Sergio Massa. On the other hand, an oustider who puts forward proposals such as dollarization or the abolition of the Central Bank with incendiary rhetoric, Javier Milei. On the eve of the most important election in the country’s recent history, political analyst Ignacio Labarqui analyzes what the conversation campaign has done in LA RAZÓN.
There seems to be a consensus among analysts about Massa’s victory in the last election debate. Do you think it has a big impact on the results? Will it be decisive in breaking the tie in such a tight election?
Massa’s performance in the debate is clearly superior to Milei’s and that will probably help Massa get some votes. The bottom line is that Massa failed to emotionally destabilize Milei and provoke a violent reaction, which was his goal. Therefore, doubts remain whether the debate will be enough to get a victory next Sunday. On the other hand, even if Massa won, it is impossible to prove that it was due to the debate.
Milei received the support of Patricia Bullrich, the presidential candidate of Together for Change. A coalition of total dissolution is precisely for this reason. Also from Macri and the former president of Spain, Mariano Rajoy, as well as other former Latin American leaders close to the center-right. Will it help improve your candidacy?
Absolutely not. What matters is the support of Patricia Bullrich’s voters, not hers. And voters are autonomous from party leaders in a context where party identities are weak. It is likely that a good part of Bullrich voters trust Milei, but this is not because of what Macri or Bullrich said, but because they are voters with a strong critical stance on the Government.
What are the issues that most concern Argentines, in addition to inflation, and who do you think was able to put together their campaign framework?
Aside from inflation and the general state of the economy, surveys show that insecurity and corruption are the top concerns of citizens. However, despite this, they have little impact on voters’ preferences. Massa’s greatest achievement in this sense is that the campaign revolves around the proposals of Milei, rather than the results of the administration of the Government of Alberto Fernández.
Massa has promised to form a unity government when he reaches the Casa Rosada. What names or sectors can be represented in that cabinet?
It is not clear what Massa’s unity government proposal means. This can mean two things: 1) integrate your Government with leaders from other parties, but add them in a personal capacity, or 2) negotiate with other political forces. In any case, it is obvious that it focuses on radicalism and the PRO faction that does not respond to the leadership of Mauricio Macri. For now, it looks like a campaign tool to woo Together for Change voters who don’t want to vote for Milei. If Massa wins next Sunday we will see the true extent of his call for a government of national unity.