A new opinion poll shows that the center-left candidate Gustavo Petro is climbing in polls for the Colombian presidential elections little by little, now sitting just 5.5 points behind the right-wing candidate Ivan Duque.
According to the poll by the Latin American Strategic Center of Geopolitics (CELAG), Duque is leading the vote intention with 45.5 percent, while Petro is close behind with 40.5 points, with an error margin between +/- 1,3 and +/- 2,2 percent.
Petro, from the Humane Colombia Movement, has been gaining support in opinion polls for the second round of the Colombian presidential elections after other progressive politicians expressed either their support for him or their rejection of Duque, who is considered to be just an frontman for ex-president right-wing hardliner, Alvaro Uribe.
“Look at what the @ELTIEMPO newspaper wanted to hide. Without measuring the lines of the great coalition against corruption we have grown by 15 points and Duque with just 6. We're catching up and we will pass him.”
CELAG surveyed 2,063 people intending to vote, discarding those who were doubtful of the process or don't want to vote, between May 29 and June 6, before the Green Party's former mayor of Bogota Antanas Mockus and Senator Claudia Lopez announced their support for Petro.
But the Green Party called on its followers to vote against Duque, instead of supporting Petro. The center-left candidate recently sent a letter to the liberal ex-candidate Humberto de la Calle asking him for his support.
“I invite you to fight together for the national majority to prevent the country from falling in the trap of war and violence,” Petro said in the letter. However, de la Calle has already said he will vote blank.
Colombian presidential candidate Ivan Duque greets supporters on the Simon Bolivar international bridge in Cucuta, Colombia June 5, 2018. Photo | Reuters
The poll also found that the second round will have a similar turnout as the first, 54 percent. However, seven percent of the surveyed people that didn't vote in the first round will do in the second, and most of them will vote for Petro.
Also, more people expressed their intention of voting blank, which suggests that some of the voters that voted for one of the candidates who did not make it to the second round may now be considering this option.
Supporters of the center candidate Sergio Fajardo, who said he will vote blank in the second round, are mostly leaning towards Petro, with 39 percent, while 29 percent of Fajardo's supporters say they are voting for Duque and 21 percent say they are voting blank.
This is the fourth detailed report by CELAG on the Colombian elections, and the first one after the first round.
The report was released as the campaign period ended Sunday, and from now on candidates will only be able to host or attend small, private meetings in closed spaces.
Voting stations were opened in foreign places for those living abroad on Monday, starting with New Zealand, Australia and some Asian countries, where there are about 819,398 Colombians registered to vote.