Presidential candidates Humala and Kuczynski gain in recent polls

Two opinion polls released on the weekend show a significant gain in approval ratings for Ollanta Humala, of the left-wing Gana Peru, and for the center-right candidate Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, of Alianza por el Gran Cambio. They are also the only candidates who show an increase in support in the last month.

The Public Opinion Institute, IOP, of the Universidad Catolica shows that Ollanta Humala’s approval rating has risen 4 points since January and that today 15.5% of the people polled would vote for the radical candidate. His approval rating in December 2010 was 9%.

In the same poll, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has jumped in approval rating, from 4% in January to 10.6% this past week. The Ipsos Apoyo survey also shows similar figures – Humala with 16% and Kuczynski with 10%. 

 Alejandro Toledo, of Peru Posible, continues to maintain a clear lead in the polls despite a slight drop in his approval rating to 26-27%, and his closest contenders are still Keiko Fujimori (Fuerza 2011) with 19% in the IOP poll and 22% according to Ipsos Apoyo, and Luis Castañeda (Solidaridad Nacional) at 17%.

Castañeda’s approval rating –always stronger in Lima than in the provinces—has dropped consistently since December 2010, when he was at 22%.

Ollanta’s rise in the polls is due to “a more coherent campaign, less radical, and there is no longer a pro-Chavez tendency,” according to IOP’s director, Fernando Tuesta. Despite Kuczynski’s work throughout the provinces for more than a year now, his most recent rating increase is in Lima, according to Tuesta. Between June and December 2010, only 2% said they would vote for him, a sharp contrast with the current 11%.

While Toledo’s approval remains a constant 27% across socio-economic strata, Kuczynski maintains a 29% approval in the A/B strata, and only 5% among the poorest, but an increasing approval rate –now 11%– among the middle-income levels of society. Humala’s appeal is higher in the low D/E strata, and only 5% in the top income level. His approval is also stronger in the provinces than in Lima, although dramatically lower than five years ago — in 2006, he lost the run-off election with 42.3% of the votes against Alan García, who garnered 54.7% of the votes, and maintained a very high vote count in all the provinces except Lima and the south coast.

According to both Tuesta at IOP and Alfredo Torres at Ipsos Apoyo, the shift in the most recent polling results –which need to consider a +-2-3% margin of error— means that the candidate to campaign against Alejandro Toledo in the run-off could be any of the four closest contenders.

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