Thursday, January 31, 2013

The 2013 Presidential Race Begins......

The first poll of Honduran Citizens about the Presidential candidates is in, and it contains a surprise:  Xiomara Castro, the LIBRE Party candidate and wife of former President Manuel Zelaya Rosales is leading among all the presidential candidates.

The poll, conducted by CID-Gallup between January 14 and January 18, 2013 with 1256 likely voters surveyed, indicated that Xiomara Castro was in a statistical tie with Juan Orlando Hernandez, the National Party candidate and current head of Congress, 25% to 23%.

The poll indicates that if the election were held today, Xiomara would beat the other main alternative candidate, Salvador Nasralla of the Anti Corruption Party, by 6%.

In some ways the most interesting thing in the poll: Xiomara out-polled the Liberal Party candidate, Mauricio Villeda (who played a role in the sham "negotiations" by Roberto Micheletti after the 2009 coup) by 9%.

What this suggests: supporters of the more progressive end of the Liberal party may well have shifted to LIBRE, and this leaves the remaining part of the Liberal Party seriously weakened.

But the National Party is likely not overjoyed either. They probably not be in the position they hoped to be after settling their primary so expeditiously-- by not counting all the votes-- and supressing any internal contention after the primary ended-- by firing Supreme Court justices who might otherwise have admitted a request for a formal count of the actual votes.

There is obviously a long way to go before the election campaign in September, and the election itself in November. But unless someone finds something really funny in the sampling for this poll, it is clear that one legacy of the 2009 coup is a serious shakeup in electoral politics in Honduras.

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