What Must Kast And Boric Do To Win the Presidency In Chile?

The candidate of the Republican Party, José Antonio Kast, and the standard-bearer of Approve Dignity, Gabriel Boric, will meet on December 19 in a second round .

José Antonio Kast and Gabriel Boric

The far-right José Antonio Kast and the leftist Gabriel Boric managed to stay with the first two places in the elections and reach the long-awaited second round that will be held on December 19. Photos: TW-joseantoniokast, TW-gabrielboric

LatinAmerican Post | Nicolás Donoso Álvarez

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Leer en español: ¿Qué deben hacer Kast y Boric para ganar la presidencia en Chile?

Last Sunday, November 21, Chile experienced one of the most anticipated, polarized, and politicized presidential elections since the return to democracy, in the midst of several crises that affect the South American country.

In this complex scenario, the far-right José Antonio Kast and the leftist Gabriel Boric managed to stay with the first two places in the elections and reach the long-awaited second round that will be held on December 19. While Kast led the voting with 27.91%, which is equivalent to 1,961,122 votes, Boric followed closely, achieving 25.83% with 1,814,809 votes, according to the latest data released by the Servel (Electoral Service of Chile).

The economist Franco Parisi,  also managed to make a strong campaign on social networks, without stepping on the national territory and obtaining 12.80% of the votes, which could be decisive in the election of the future president.

Boric and Kast will have to moderate their speeches if they want to win

As mentioned above, the vote obtained by Franco Parisi, of the People's Party, was important and could be the one that defines the winner. That is why both candidates who want to reach La Moneda will have to moderate their speeches and silence the detractors who consider them extreme and a danger to democracy. They should also generate consensus with those parties of the candidates that were left on the road, but that represented practically 46% of the voters who did not choose any of them.

Also read: Nicolás Maduro happy with the overwhelming victory of Chavismo

In the case of the candidate of the Pacto Apruebo Dignidad, he already received the support of the candidate Marco Enríquez-Ominami (he obtained 7.61%) and the Socialist Party. For José Antonio Kast, the outlook is also unpredictable, since he would need the help of the candidate of the Chilean conglomerate Podemos Más, Sebastián Sichel, with the aim that the left does not end up winning.

A choice to be defined by details

Something that does seem to be clear from the results is that for the first time since 1990 neither the center-left (represented this time by Yasna Provoste) nor the center-right (led by Sebastián Sichel on this occasion) will govern. For this reason, it is not enough for both candidates to summon their electorate, nor to generate alliances or agreements with their closest coalitions, but they must bet on trying to convince the electorate of Franco Parisi and to mobilize all those who decided not to participate in this vote.

Voting in Chile has been voluntary since the 2013 presidential elections, which explains that this time a total of just over 7,000,000 people voted, according to official Servel data and that it represents 47% of the electoral roll, being 53 % of people who could vote those who did not. These numbers are higher than the presidential elections of 2017, where only 46.7% of citizens voted; but it is less than the percentage reached in the vote for the approval or rejection of a new constitution that took place a little over a year ago when participation reached 50.9%.

According to data from the national survey Plaza Pública Cadem, which was correct in the forecast of who passed to the second round, both Boric and Kast would be tied on December 19 with 39% of the preferences for each, reaching abstention to a 22% (people who do not know or do not respond).

One detail to take into consideration is that José Antonio Kast became strong mainly in the extreme southern areas of the country, in fact obtaining a majority in ten of the sixteen regions that make up Chile, while Boric achieved important numbers in the Metropolitan Region. and in the Valparaíso Region, two friendly areas for the former deputy.

In a scenario where uncertainty reigns, the country faces the choice of two diametrically opposed projects and visions for the country. Chile will have to return to the polls in less than 30 days.