Monday, February 27, 2006

The Reliability Of Peruvian Surveys permanent link   0 comments
(from Bloomberg.com)

"Peruvian voter support for presidential candidate Lourdes Flores fell for the second straight survey as her two main rivals gained in polling before April's election.

Flores' support among voters dropped to 33 percent in a Feb. 26 poll from 35 percent on Feb. 13, according to a survey by Lima- based polling firm Apoyo Opinion y Mercado. Backing for Ollanta Humala, leader of the Peruvian Nationalist Party, rose to 26 percent from 25 percent, while former President Alan Garcia's support rose to 22 percent from 17 percent, Apoyo said.

Another former president, Valentin Paniagua, rated 7 percent, while Martha Chavez, head of former President Alberto Fujimori's Alliance for the Future coalition, rated 4 percent. Apoyo surveyed 2,000 people nationwide from Feb. 22 to 24. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points.

Flores, 46, a lawyer and former congresswoman, backs free- market policies and a trade agreement with the U.S. Humala, 42, a former army lieutenant colonel who took over a mine owned by Southern Copper Corp. in a revolt against Fujimori in October 2000, proposes higher corporate taxes, renegotiation of oil and mining contracts and limits on foreign investment."


So how reliable are Peruvian voter surveys?
In the recent past opinion polls have proved to be notoriously bad guides to electoral behaviour. You need only look to 1990 when the right-wing candidate and world famous author Mario Vargas Llosa was widely expected to win the contest only a couple of months before it took place. Or to 1995 when former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, was tipped to take the presidency. Both men were defeated by former President Alberto Fujimori. Take into account too the fact that Apoyo failed to forecast Evo Morales’ triumph in Bolivia a couple of months ago. Apoyo predicted a very close race. Morales won by a landslide. And then there is the very large number of "don’t knows" and "undecideds" being registered in recent polls. It all makes up for a very uncertain outlook.

The countdown to April 9 continues and anything can happen...



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