Latin America at the polls in 2021

Next year there will be a large number of elections in Latin America, which could determine the future of the region.

Person casting a vote in a ballot box

2021 arrives with the election season for several Latin American countries. / Photo: Pexels

LatinAmerican Post | Ariel Cipolla

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Leer en español: Latinoamérica a las urnas en el 2021

The political world of Latin America intensified with the coronavirus. Due to the pandemic, many of the economic problems that our region was facing worsened. For example, ECLAC indicated that the Latin American economy in 2020 pointed to a fall in GDP of 9.1% in the region, representing the largest setback in 120 years.

Hence, the current administrations of each nation have oppositions that question political tasks in this particular context. Knowing that several of them will have different elections next year, we decided to find out what the situation of each one is. 

Presidential elections of Ecuador (February 7, 2021)

Let's start by talking about the presidential elections in Ecuador, which will be the first to be held in our region. The first thing to note is that there will be a record in terms of presidential candidates, since there are up to 17 formally registered to fill the position left by Lenin Moreno. That is, the highest amount since Ecuador returned to democracy in 1979.

One of the most anticipated formulas is that of  Arauz-Rabascall correísmo, which took place after a long process in which the National Electoral Council ended up endorsing the pair that will integrate the Union for Hope front. They will seek to continue the legacy of Rafael Correa, who cannot run, while Lenin Moreno will not seek another candidacy either.

Their adversary? Guillermo Lasso, who will try to get votes from the right. However, the pollster CEDATOS indicated that there are still no revealing projections, since 66.4% of Ecuadorians are little or not interested at all in next year's elections, in addition to 58% that would not attend the elections if the vote was not optional.

Peru General Elections (April 11, 2021)

Peru seeks to overcome its political crisis. After having three presidents in a week, due to the dismissal of Martín Vizcarra and the resignation of Manuel Merino, the idea that Peruvians can elect their next president is the main objective of the current government.

Currently, there are 23 candidates running for the presidency, although there are some who have more chances than others. An IEP poll reveals that the candidate for the National Restoration party, George Forsyth, is popping up with a vote intention of 14.7%. At the same time, the poll reveals that there is 17.8% of the population that would not vote for any candidate, in a clear example of the country's institutional problems.

Also read: What will Biden's relationship with Venezuela and Maduro be like?

Federal elections in Mexico (June 6, 2021)

This will be the largest elections in the history of Mexico, where half the country will elect new state and political governments for more than 21 thousand seats. In other words, it will be a vote that will support or punish the current administration of Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Thus, we know that his party, the National Regeneration Movement, registers a voting intention that is double that of the traditional parties, according to a poll by El Universal. This translates into 32% sympathy in the elections, while its main contender, the National Action Party, would have 16%.

Legislative elections of Argentina (October 24, 2021)

In this case, Argentina will not elect a president but will renew the Chamber of Deputies and Senators. The Argentine vote will depend, to a large extent, on the Alberto Fernández administration, all in the midst of an unprecedented economic crisis. For this reason, from the right, there seems to be an increase in the intention to vote for these elections, which would express dissatisfaction with the national political measures.

A survey done by the consulting firm Reyes & Filadoro revealed that 45% considered that the government of Alberto Fernández has been "bad" or "very bad." From Together for Change they believe that their vote base will be 41%, the same as in 2019. In addition, the coalition of the Liberals is popping, with estimates of 8%, which could be integrated with the nucleus of Mauricio Macri.

Chilean Presidential Elections (November 21, 2021)

Finally, there will also be presidential elections in Chilean territory. Although the panorama here is less clear, since there is still a long way to go before them, La Nación indicates that there is an “admirer of Chávez” who emerges as the main candidate: Daniel Jadue, who would represent La Moneda as one of the main forces of left against Piñera.

Precisely, a survey by the Data Influye polling company found that this personality leads the presidential race with a 17.9% intention to vote, while the mayor of Las Condes, Joaquín Lavín, has a 11.4%  popularity ranking. In other words, the trend would indicate a "change of time" with respect to the current government.

The truth is that Latin America will have a very interesting 2021 in political matters, with elections that could determine the future of the region.