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  • Gustavo Petro, presidential candidate

    Gustavo Petro, presidential candidate | Photo: Reuters

Published 2 April 2018

The survey was conducted between February 22 and March 10.

The Latin American Geopolitical Strategic Center CELAG has prepared its second quantitative opinion survey on the presidential elections in Colombia, whose first round is scheduled for next May 27. This new work is in addition to the first survey published on February 28 and the qualitative opinion survey published on March 21. The three documents can be consulted on the CELAG website (www.celag.org).

The study, led by the coordinator of the Public Opinion Area of CELAG Leandro Caruso, consisted of 2,500 face-to-face interviews with people who expressed their willingness to vote. That is to say, it was rejected by all the people who did not explain their intention to exercise the right to vote or showed doubts about it.

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Likewise, 20 of the 32 departments of the country were selected, which represents 92% of the electoral census and among these 20 departments, the most important city of each was chosen, thus covering 77% of the census. The margin of error ranges from +/- 1% to +/- 2.8% and the confidence interval is 95%.

One conclusion is that there is a greater interest towards the elections with respect to the February survey. Then only 35% of the people who expressed their intention to vote showed an approximate knowledge of the date of the elections, this percentage now amounts to 62%.

The increase in interest is evident in a greater knowledge of all the candidates. Within this increase is included Ivan Duque, who goes from 40% of knowledge of his candidacy in February to 67%, and Gustavo Petro, who experienced an increase of 71% to 88%.

The vote begins to reconfigure itself around fewer and fewer candidates. In this way, Iván Duque and Gustavo Petro concentrate the highest voting intention indexes and increase their percentages with respect to February. The percentage of undecided persons decreased from 12% to 4.8%.

In this sense, Gustavo Petro experienced a very significant increase in intention to vote, going from 17.6% to 22.9%, placing himself as the candidate who would receive the most support from the electorate. On the other hand, Iván Duque presents an intention of vote of 18%

One of the most significant changes in the survey is the replacement of the candidate with the highest expectation of success. In February, Germán Vargas Lleras occupied the first place in the question "Who do you think will win?" (Regardless of whether the respondent voted or not) with 24.9%. In the March measurement, this percentage drops to 16.6% and places him in third place.

Now, Gustavo Petro is the candidate with the most options to win in the perception of the electorate, regardless of the voting preference of each respondent. The former mayor of Bogotá stands at 28.1%, compared to 13% in February, which is a 15 point increase. Iván Duque, with 18%, would be placed in the second position in this indicator, increasing by 9 points its percentage of a month ago (9.5%).


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