Stabroek News Sunday

Final Chile presidenti­al polls show leftist Boric edging ahead


SANTIAGO, (Reuters) - Chilean leftist Gabriel Boric has widened his lead in the final polls ahead of the Andean country’s presidenti­al election today, though the polarized race remains tight against ultra-conservati­ve rival Jose Antonio Kast.

Ahead of the run-off ballot, two private polls seen by Reuters showed 35-year-old former student protest leader Boric edging ahead of Kast, 55, a far-right lawyer who has defended the legacy of military dictator Augusto Pinochet.

Chile, the world’s top copper producer and long a role model of market-oriented economic policy in Latin America, is set for its most divisive presidenti­al ballot in decades, with both candidates from outside the centrist mainstream parties.

A private poll from Cadem, which surveyed 1,007 people with a margin of error of 3.1%, showed Boric taking 55% of the vote versus 45% for Kast, widening his lead over the last week when a similar poll showed him with 52% versus 48% for Kast.

A second poll by consulting firm Atlas Intel, which had shown a draw earlier in the week, now put Boric ahead with 51% voting preference­s versus 49% for Kast. The survey included 4,062 people with a margin of error of 1%.

The country is in a two-week blackout period where pollsters cannot openly publish surveys on the vote, but private polls are often commission­ed.

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