Polls: Fujimori maintains narrow lead over Humala

With less than two weeks before the election, three opinion polls give Congresswoman Keiko Fujimori a slight lead over leftist opponent Ollanta Humala for Peru’s presidency.

A survey by pollster Ipsos Apoyo shows Fujimori with 43 percent support, compared to 39 percent for Humala. The poll, which was released on TV program Cuarto Poder on Sunday, has 18 percent of the electorate as either undecided (7 percent) or planning to spoil their ballots (11 percent).

The poll of 2,006 people from May 14-20 has a margin of error of 2.2 percent.

Ipsos Apoyo director, Alfredo Torres, says it is unlikely to see a major shift in polls leading up to the second round vote as more than 90 percent of the electorate has already made up their mind.

A second poll, also released on Sunday, gave Fujimori a 3.8 point lead over Humala. The Datum Internacional poll shows Fujimori with 44.1 percent support compared to 40.3 percent for Humala. More than 15 percent of the respondents said they are undecided or will leave their ballots blank.

That poll of 5,004 people was taken from May 16-18 and has a margin of error of 1.4 percentage points.

A poll by local firm CPI released on Monday by Radioprogramas, gave Fujimori a 5.9 point lead at 42.9 percent support versus 37 percent for Humala. Over twenty percent of the respondents said they would leave the ballot blank or were still undecided. The poll included the interview of 2,790 people from May 17-21 and has a margin of error of 1.85 percent.

“In our view, all this still means an extremely close election result,” investment firm Celfin Capital said in a report, adding: “Some ‘hidden votes’ are not clearly shown by polls: Humala has support in remote areas of Peru, and Fujimori overseas, and neither is captured in opinion polls.”

Eurasia Group analyst Erasto Almeida, who has been projecting a Humala victory, said in note that the 48-year-old former military officer is still likely to win the election however the race has been tighter than expected.

“Humala, who had a slow start in his second round campaign after his first round victory, has reacted over the past couple of weeks with new commitments to stability aimed at reassuring moderate voters that he will be no radical, and more aggressive initiatives to explore Fujimori’s vulnerabilities, but the recent polls results indicate that his efforts so far have not yielded results,” Almeida said.

“We still expect Humala to win more support from undecided voters and win. But the race is tighter than we expected, and if polls to be released next weekend don’t show an increase in support for Humala, Fujimori will likely come out on top.”

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