Argentine presidential runoff election live

Live commentary Monday morning on the Argentine runoff that could be won by the far-right Javier Milei. And should US Democrats replace Biden as their presidential nominee?

Live Commentary

9:18am Tuesday Milei will be inaugurated on December 10 for a four-year term. This is the second time the centre-left party has lost an Argentine presidential runoff after leading in the first round; this also occurred in 2015.

2:17pm With 99.3% counted, Milei has defeated Massa by 55.69-44.31, an 11.4% margin.

11:13am Legislative results: The better news for the left in Argentina is that, because of a system similar to first past the post for the Senate in the October 22 legislative and first round presidential elections, they still hold the Senate.

Massa’s Union for the Homeland (UftH) won 13 of the 24 senators elected, Milei’s Liberty Advances (LA) won seven senators and Bullrich’s Together for Change (TfC) two. UftH has a total of 35 of 72, while TfC and LA combined hold 31 seats. Five of the six others are formerly from the centre-left.

Proportional representation was used in the Chamber of Deputies, and UftH holds 108 of the 257 seats, with 93 TfC and 38 LA, giving the combined right (131 seats) a majority in the Chamber. 130 of the 257 Chamber seats were up at this election, and 24 of the 72 senators. The next Argentine legislative election is in late 2025.

An aside here: the Spanish Wikipedia page on the Argentine legislative results is better than the English page as it gives total numbers of seats, not just those elected in 2023. I use Google translate.

11:12am Over 96% counted, and Milei leads Massa by 55.8-44.2.

10:43am Bullrich voters swung behind Milei. In the first round in Buenos Aires city, Bullrich won 41.2%, Massa 32.2% and Milei 20.0%. In the runoff, Milei is winning this city by 57.3-42.7 with 93% in.

10:34am With 88% of precincts reporting, Milei leads by 55.9-44.1. The poll that gave Milei a 12.8-point lead will easily be the best.

10:14am Massa has conceded before official results are released at 11am. 80% has been counted already.

9:35am According to Bloomberg, Milei is probably winning according to leaked results.

9:11am Monday Bloomberg’s live blog is here and their results page is here. They expect results at 11am AEDT.

Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is a paid election analyst for The Conversation. His work for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.

Polls close at 8am AEDT Monday for Argentina’s presidential runoff election. Argentina doesn’t release results until a substantial amount has been counted. In the October 22 first round, the first results were released about 11:20am AEDT. I expect faster counting with only two candidates and no other contests.

In the first round, the centre-left Sergio Massa won 36.8%, the far-right Javier Milei 30.0% and the conservative Patricia Bullrich 23.8%. A centrist candidate won 6.7% and the far-left 2.7%. Bullrich endorsed Milei on October 25. Milei is an admirer of Donald Trump and has called climate change a “socialist lie”.

Voting is compulsory. Polls mostly have Milei leads by mid-single figures, but a few have narrow Massa leads. One poll though gave Milei a 12.8-point lead. In a TV debate on November 12, Milei praised former British PM Margaret Thatcher. Thatcher went to war with Argentina in 1982 over the Falkland Islands; the British sank an Argentine warship, killing 323 people on board.

The only province out of 24 won by Bullrich in the first round was Buenos Aires city (note: this isn’t part of Buenos Aires province). Massa will hope that the higher-income and better-educated people in the city who supported Bullrich can’t stand Milei.

At the previous Argentine presidential election in 2019, the centre-left Alberto Fernández ousted conservative Mauricio Macri after one term by a 48.2-40.3 margin (a runoff isn’t needed if a candidate achieves over 45%). In 2015, Macri had a 51.3-48.7 runoff win. In 2011, current vice president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who is now hated by the right, won a massive landslide with 54% in the first round; her nearest opponent (a socialist) got 17%.

Despite being eligible, Alberto Fernández did not contest this election, and his party nominated Massa as its candidate. Had Fernández stood, he would have been blamed for the over 100% inflation. I believe Massa has a much better chance to win than Fernández would have.

Should Biden follow Fernández’s example?

Joe Biden will turn 81 on Monday. Since March this year, his ratings in the FiveThirtyEight aggregate have worsened, and he’s currently at 55.5% disapprove, 39.0% approve (net -16.5). Most national polls now show Trump ahead, with or without third party candidates, and recent Siena polls for The New York Times gave Trump four-to-ten-point leads in five of the six closest 2020 Biden-won states.

While Trump led overall by five points in the Siena polls, an unnamed generic Democrat would lead Trump by eight. In a similar exercise a year before the 2020 election, Biden led Trump by two and a generic Democrat led by three. This suggests replacing Biden with a far younger Democrat would enhance Democrats’ chances of defeating Trump.

Pro-Biden Democrats argue that the November 7 off-year elections were great for Democrats, and therefore the polls showing Biden losing are wrong. There are two objections: first, that the off-year election polls were OK and polls for next November are measuring a completely different election.

Second, legislative elections were mediocre for Democrats. The celebrated victories in the Virginia legislature were by bare majorities in both chambers – 21-19 in the Senate, 51-49 in the House. This implies a Democratic lead by low single digits in Virginia overall. If Biden only wins Virginia by two points after winning by 10.1 in 2020, it’s very likely Trump wins the election overall.

Spanish Socialists form government

On Thursday, four months after the Spanish election that right-wing parties had been expected to win easily, current Socialist PM Pedro Sánchez won an investiture vote by 179 votes to 171. The Socialists made a controversial deal with the regionalist Junts party, which was the kingmaker after the election. This will be a second term for the Socialists.

No government has yet been formed in New Zealand, with National, ACT and NZ First still negotiating. During the next week there will be a US federal by-election in a safe Republican seat and a Dutch election. I will cover these elections in a post on next Saturday’s NZ Port Waikato by-election, which National should win.

25 comments on “Argentine presidential runoff election live”


    11/18/2023 08:04 AM EST

    BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — ‘This may sound familiar: A self-styled outsider aims to win the presidency and purge the political establishment so he can restore order to a broken nation — if only he can overcome a system rigged against him.

    But this isn’t former President Donald Trump, or even happening in the U.S. It’s Argentine presidential candidate Javier Milei, the latest politician to follow Trump’s playbook and claim that election results are dubious and that gatekeepers may deprive him of the nation’s top job.

    Analysts say it is a tactic to fire up Milei’s base and promote vigilance at polling stations, or set the stage for refusing to concede a loss.

    The right-wing economist rose to fame blasting the political class on television and has welcomed comparisons to Trump. His message that a corrupt elite has left the country behind resonates with Argentines coping with rising poverty and 142 percent annual inflation.

    Milei represents upheaval, and casting doubt on the electoral system — in a nation where it is widely trusted — is true to form. Since Argentina’s return to democracy a half-century ago, no candidate in any national race has formally challenged results, according to the electoral appeals court.

    Pre-election polls in the Nov. 19 runoff between Milei and Economy Minister Sergio Massa show a dead heat.

    Before the first round, most had shown Milei narrowly ahead, yet Massa won handily, by 7 percentage points. Claims of fraud exploded on social media, and some Milei supporters volunteered to monitor the vote at the country’s more than 100,000 polling stations.

    Luis Paulero, 30, is one of them. He cared little for politics and, although voting is mandatory, had never before cast a ballot. But Milei “sparked passion in me,” Paulero said at a small rally in Ezeiza, about 20 miles from Argentina’s capital.

    He says he is disgusted that the governing party might steal the presidency. “I’ve been watching it on TikTok videos; all the fraud that was done seems wrong, it’s undemocratic,” said Paulero, a delivery app driver.

    At least partly, Milei is stoking fraud claims himself. In an interview Nov. 7, he said the first-round vote wasn’t clean.

    “There were irregularities of such proportion that they put the result in doubt,” Milei said. He continued: “Whoever counts the vote controls everything.”

    Earlier, Milei had said that were it not for fraud during the August primaries, he would have snagged 35 percent of the vote instead of 30 percent.

    He has provided no evidence in either instance. Still, die-hard boosters have brought signs reading “Don’t Screw With My Vote!” and “One Stolen Vote is Fraud!” to small rallies.’

  2. Is this dude Javier Milei or Javier Bardem?

    He certainly has the worst haircut I’ve seen since Javier Bardem’s in No Country for Old Men. It looks like it crawled up onto his head and died.

  3. We live in strange and interesting times.
    I can’t see this ending well for Argentina but then again things haven’t exactly been rosy in Argentina for a long time.

    I do find it strange that much of press describe Milei as a libertarian given his anti-abortion stance.

  4. Give it about 3 months before he collapses the economy. A few of his mates are about to get very very rich, at the expense of very very many Argies.

  5. Argentina is in deep shit. It’s unsurprising that people there voted for the biggest change they could and to hell with niceties.

  6. Argentina’s nominal GDP per capita in 1980 was $8361 USD. This year it is estimated to be $13,300 USD. So in 43 years, they have gone nowhere.
    As a comparison, Australia has gone from $11,000 to $63,000 in the same time.

  7. Some awful anglo-centric coverage of this election.

    Milei is not “a Trump”, he as a firm understanding of the economic institutions at play – with the main problem being he knows exactly what to stuff up and make the situation worse (would Trump even know what a central bank is? Or the “Austrian school”). Hardly see “far right” as accurate, as no credible corporation would support some of his policies.

    “Left” hardly describes Massa either, some socialists the Peronists make when they take the worst economic policies from both fascism and communism to result in a pro-corporate high inflation kleptocracy.

    Poor Argentina was screwed either way.

  8. ‘A revenge term’: what would another four years of Trump look like?

    It is a cold day in Washington. A crowd is gathering on the National Mall for the swearing-in of the 47th president of the United States. At noon on 20 January 2025, Donald Trump places his hand on a Bible, takes the oath of office and delivers an inaugural address with a simple theme: retribution.

    This is the nightmare scenario for millions of Americans – and one that they are increasingly being forced to take seriously. Opinion polls show Trump running away with the Republican presidential nomination and narrowly leading Democrat Joe Biden in a hypothetical match-up. Political pundits can offer plenty of caveats but almost all agree that the race for the White House next year will be very close

    The fact that there is a more than remote chance of the twice impeached, quadruply indicted former US president returning to the Oval Office is ringing alarm bells. “I think it would be the end of our country as we know it,” Hillary Clinton, who lost to Trump in 2016, said on the ABC talkshow The View this week. “And I don’t say that lightly.”

    The former secretary of state noted that history shows how leaders can get legitimately elected and then terminate elections, the opposition and a free press. “Hitler was duly elected,” Clinton added. “All of a sudden somebody with those tendencies, dictatorial, authoritarian tendencies, would be like, ‘OK we’re gonna shut this down, we’re gonna throw these people in jail.’ And they didn’t usually telegraph that. Trump is telling us what he intends to do.”

  9. Hilary is wrong. Hitler telegraphed what he was going to do, just as Trump is doing now. Hitler told us exactly what he would do, he just did it in German.

  10. Yikes! Javier Milei, the radical far-right populist, elected President of Argentina

    “Mr Milei’s proposals include — (source

    •Shutting down the central bank
    •Making the US dollar the country’s official currency
    •Slashing government spending and eliminating many agencies
    •Banning abortion
    •Slashing regulations on gun control
    •Transferring authority over the penitentiary system from civilians to the military
    •Use of public funds to support families who choose to educate their children privately
    •Privatizing the health sector, which in Argentina has always been in public hands

    Trump-loving, climate-change denying, trash-talking Milei has zero governing experience.

    What were Argentinians thinking?

    Meanwhile, Republicans are celebrating tonight.

    trump congratulated Mr Milei on his victory, saying he would “Make Argentina Great Again!”.

  11. “Argentina will fall”

    It’s hard to fall when you’re already on the floor.

    “Give it about 3 months before he collapses the economy. ”

    Don’t worry, the Peronists he defeated have saved him the job. They’ve been ruining one of the naturally richest, most advantageous countries in the world, since WWII.
    And in the last 4 years, doing it on steroids compared to their usual efforts. They are well on course for their latest default on debt on top of everything else.

  12. “Argentina is in deep shit. It’s unsurprising that people there voted for the biggest change they could and to hell with niceties.”

    Quite. . .

    BUENOS AIRES, Nov 13 (Reuters) – Analysts polled by Argentina’s central bank raised their estimate for annual inflation for this year (ARCPIN=ECI) to 185.0%, the bank said on Monday, up from last month’s estimate of 180.7%. (7 days ago)

    Interest rates are 133%, according to what I just googled.

    Over 40% of the population in poverty.

    Not difficult to see why many people would feel not only desperate to get the Peronist-Socialist bunch out, but would feel they’ve got nothing left to lose whatever the ‘other guy’ might do.

  13. “Peronists he defeated have saved him the job.”
    Yawn. You think it’s bad now, how bad is it going to be when he privatises anything of value to american corporations and leaves the people deep in poverty with nothing but a new poverty to prison pipeline, abortion bans and all their labour rights removed while the 0.1% enrich themselves and shove off to America or Qatar or Switzerland or Monaco like they always do when the run out of things to privatise.

    Libertarian “Economics” is a fraud, always has, always will be.

    Good luck Argies.

  14. Bob

    Yes, I think it’s terrible now.

    It will continue on its current trajectory to get worse for a while yet, but some systemic changes might – just might – give Argentina a brighter and richer future if the Argies can endure the short-term (extra) pain long enough to give it a chance.

  15. “I think it would be the end of our country as we know it,” Hillary Clinton, who lost to Trump in 2016, said on the ABC talkshow The View this week. “And I don’t say that lightly.”

    What a liar. She’s been saying that type shit for years.

  16. This is great news for the global extremely radical right. If the guy’s going to live up to his promises he’s going to have to have a big 11 December planned.

  17. I’m not so sure he’ll be as dangerous as Trump. For one thing his party doesn’t have a majority in the Argentinian parliament, and he could be impeached if he goes too far.

    I guess with Milai we’ll be “wait and see”. I asked an Argentinian friend for his thoughts and he said that he simply couldn’t stomach supporting Massa what with the current inflation crisis there.

    I will be concerned if he starts acting like a Pinochet-brand tyrant and does bad things though. And I don’t like his policy of banning abortion.

  18. “This is the second time the centre-left party has lost an Argentine presidential runoff after leading in the first round;”

    Centre-left hardly describes the Peronist group of parties accurately. Tbf Sergio Massa probably would accurately fit that description.

    But the Kirchners are hardly centre-left, but again they don’t fit easily into a box. Over the years nearly all Argentina’s presidents have been from the ‘Peronist family’ – but that heading masks a wide variety of methods of governing and policies, some of which were quite centrist or capitalist at times.

    Often Presidents have been quite unorthodox there. Cristina Kirchner was far left socially, yet heavily populist and anti-the rule of law all at the same time! One thing many of their leaders have in common is that they at least tolerate the entrenched corruption (if not part of it, as in Kirchner’s case and others over the years); they fail to collect taxes properly (part of the corruption, too easy to bribe officials out of it); and they add woeful levels of debt to their economy – exacerbated by excessive hand-outs to the poor long-suffering population, to stave off anarchy on the streets.

    Macri had some ideas how to fix this, but the odds were stacked against him in the ‘system’ (not just the people, but the reforms led to worsening of some macro-economic factors in the short term and he had to go back to the IMF for more help, a big blow to his reputation).
    Public opinion turned against him and he failed to get re-elected in 2019 and continue the needed reforms (albeit he came much closer than expected in the end).

    Milei will face the same headwinds, and with significantly less representation in their Congress than Macri had. Still, he won by a large margin and the population is 8 years more desperate for change than they were in 2015, so it’s possible the support Milei needs will be able to be dragged kicking and screaming through Congress.

    It’s also possible that Milei is frustrated in the first 2 years but retains his own support, and wins the mid-terms handily – making his reforms more possible in the following 2 years.

  19. I’ve had a look into the Argentine impeachment process, and I’ve gathered that such a proceeding would be held by the Senate, of which there’s 72 seats, and it requires 48 of those for an impeachment. Milei’s party only holds 8 of those seats, so the remaining 64 seats held by the Peronist Left and the Centre-Right coalitions will most likely hold him to account if he starts getting ridiculous.

    Of course, things could develop™ in ways that drag Argentina into a far-right fascist dictatorship where they start kidnapping their political opponents and throw them out of helicopters at sea again, but it’s not like that just yet.

  20. Dutch election? Here ya go, from an inexpert (and half-cut) non-Dutch view…

    Big winner is obviously Geert Wilders and his One Nation-ish PVV. They came first – that means 37 seats out of 150, so they won’t necessarily be leading the government (or even part of it).

    Other winner: the merger of GreenLeft and PvdA (Labour), who picked up 8 seats on their combined total from last time. So there’s your other potential prime minister. (Can you imagine the anguished howls of some Labor PB’ites if that happened here?)

    The governing VVD came third (and their current PM retired), so they need to figure out whether to support a far-right party or be part of an unstable grand coalition-ish sorta thing with about five parties involved.

    Something called “New Social Contract” came a decent fourth with 20 seats. Formed by a splitter from the CDA (more about them later), with a party name that sounds like something you’d find in Latin America. Argentina, even.

    Democrats 66 have a silly name, just like Alliance ’90 / The Greens in Germany. They’ve hung around for a while though. They had a good election last time and a bad one this time, going from 24 seats (2nd) to 9 seats (5th). They’re centrist, and despite the belting they just got are likely to be involved in the next government.

    The Farmer-Citizen Movement (sounds like the City-Country Alliance from when One Nation accidentally elected a dozen MPs in Qld and then fell apart)… they came and went. They were polling 30% for a little while, but sparkled and faded. 7 seats is still OK I guess, compared to the one they had before.

    The Christian Democratic Appeal (from a few paragraphs ago) got clubbed from 15 seats to 5. This is a party that had long-serving prime ministers not that long ago, and they came seventh. Bad times for them.

    Aaand then… another 8 parties, with 23 seats between them. Yeah, Dutch politics is just a little bit fractured.

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