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.
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.