Chile atomized, forces candidates to weave social alliances

The polls did their job in Chile, as expected, José Antonio Kast and Gabriel Boric will be measured in the second presidential round. Two opposing poles in an atomized country, with a fragmented Parliament and high electoral abstention.

The first round passed and no applicant reached 30%. Kast won with 27.91%, almost 10 points less than the 36.64% obtained in 2017 by the then aspiring Sebastián Piñera.

“This first round showed that no candidate has full representation towards progressivism towards a continuity; clearly there is dissatisfaction with what Piñera represents, ”explained Lucía Miranda, a professor at the Institute of Political Science of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

In this sense, Isabel Castillo, a doctor from the Northwestern US University, pointed out that “traditionally the winner won throughout the country, but this election was more fragmented, a series of local or regional particularities emerged “.

“Boric did well in the center, but poorly in rural areas (…) his voter is predominantly urban,” he exemplified.

In fact, the deputy himself admitted hours after the dissemination of the results that he wanted to reach more parts of Chile in the campaign, particularly rural areas.

In Miranda’s opinion, the key will be in how the speeches are shown between now and December 19, when the ballot will take place.

For Castillo, “the formal alliances are relatively clear.” Kast will be embraced by the traditional right and the center-left will embrace Boric.

Therefore, he considered that “the most important alliances are not going to be at the political structure level,” but at the social level.

“These parties do not have the capacity to reach different electorates, which is what is needed in this case, both candidates do not have high percentages. So they have to grow a lot and these supports are not enough, nor do they guarantee success ”, commented the political scientist.

Both Kast and Boric called last night that voter who voted for one of their rivals, knowing that approaching the center will define the winner of the second round.

Kast spoke to the moderate voter – he praised both the Yasna Provoste and Sebastián Sichel campaigns – while Boric reinforced his anti-crime and economic recovery rhetoric.

An electorate to which Kast appealed, first by arguing that his candidacy is the “alternative to confront criminals and drug trafficking.” And then by asking for the vote so that Chile is not “another Venezuela.”

Castillo pointed out that both will need “to go out and look for certain social sectors,” in part because of the unknown represented by the electorate of Franco Parisi, third in the elections with 12.80% of support.

“It is an essentially non-ideological electorate that does not identify with either the left or the right, and for the same reason it is not so easily endorsed by Kast or Boric,” he clarified.

A poll by Pulso Ciudadano and Activa Research, conducted between November 9 and 12, shows a split in Parisi’s vote: 28.4% would support Boric and 26.7% for Kast. The uncertainty continues.

Susana Riquelme, Master in Politics and Government

It is possible that his triumph is due to the speeches that point towards the partisan anti-politics of the speeches “I am neither from the left nor from the right” with little horizon and political consistency.

It is difficult to explain, and it is a phenomenon that surprises us, not only because it was not in chili but, for example, their alimony debt, which is considered gender violence, therefore, a totally reprehensible and reprehensible act for women and the feminist movement, but obviously their electorate is not there.

It is possible that his interaction with the electorate of social networks, through reductionist speeches, with little information and that target, for example, the anti-immigration voter, have positioned him as third in this election. Unfortunately, these types of solutions have been installed in complex situations, which have been exacerbated through the media without questioning the xenophobia and racism that this implies and the consequences that it can bring in terms of human rights of harmonious coexistence and risk, especially for women and migrant children.

It is unknown what its position will be for the second round given the little political horizon of its bases and its commitment to collective projects. Being a candidate with ideas and a program that position him as the center right, it is possible that part of his voters support Kast’s candidacy, especially considering the anti-immigration discourse.