Former president Michelle Bachelet is set to secure a clear victory in the upcoming presidential election in Chile, according to a pre-poll survey conducted by pollster CEP. Chile goes to the polls on November 17 and there will be a run-off in December if the election does not give a clear majority to any candidate. But most of the surveys conducted so far show Bachelet far ahead of her rival Evelyn Matthei, the nominee of current President Sebastián Piñera’s right-wing party.
In the CEP survey, some 47 % talked of voting for Bachelet while only 14% expressed support for Matthei. Another 10% of the respondents appeared to be supporting the independent candidate and economist Franco Parisi.
More than 77% of respondents predicted that Bachelet would be the country’s next president, while only 5% predicted Matthei’s victory. If Bachelet secures a clear victory in the first round, she will be the first Chilean president to achieve that feat in 20 years after Christian Democrat Eduardo Frei did so in 1993.
The South American country has achieved a commendable economic success in the past few years, but analysts say the gulf between the haves and have-nots has continued to be widen. Large numbers of students protested on the streets calling for educational reforms in recent months.
Bachelet has been touring the country, addressing crowds in town plazas and promising to raise corporate tax to finance the overhauling of the country’s educational system. If elected to power, Bachelet is likely to frame a new constitution for the country.
Matthei’s electoral prospects seem to have been spoiled by allegations over his family’s association with Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship and the growing disenchantment with the current right-wing administration of Sebastián Piñera.
An Ipsos poll last week showed Bachelet getting 32% of likely votes, with Matthei at 20%and Parisi at 14%.