Argentina will head to runoff presidential elections after the Unión Por la Patria (Union for the Homeland) candidate, Sergio Massa, the current Minister of Economy, secured an unanticipated 37 percent of the votes on October 22, beating far-right candidate Javier Milei, who received only 30 percent.
The result represents a shift compared to the PASO, or primary election, that took place in August when Milei, from the Libertad Avanza (Liberty Advances), emerged as the frontrunner.
Milei held onto the 30 percent of votes he received during the PASO, while Patricia Bullrich, the candidate of the conservative Junto por el Cambio (Together for Change) coalition, came in third with 23 percent of the vote. These results mean that Argentinians will return to the polls once more in November to vote for their next president.
Milei’s supporters have already alleged electoral fraud, a tactic used by supporters of Jair Bolsonaro and Donald Trump.
However, the shift in vote share is likely a result of efforts by the Union for the Homeland to address the concerns of the people as Argentina navigates a difficult economic period. Following the PASO, Massa’s Ministry implemented a series of measures that have brought at least partial alleviation of difficulties faced by the people, including a VAT refund on basic goods and support to informal workers.
These efforts also led to the election of the Union for the Homeland candidate, Axel Kicillof, as governor of the Buenos Aires province, in which he secured a victory over Néstor Grindetti from Together for Change.