Argentina’s ruling party candidate Daniel Scioli won primary elections by a comfortable margin Sunday, while falling short of the support needed to win in a first round. Bonds rallied.
Scioli, from the ruling Victory Front alliance, won 38.5 percent of votes with 97 percent of ballots counted in preliminary results. An opposition alliance headed by Mauricio Macri received 30 percent support. Scioli needs 45 percent or more than 40 percent with a margin of victory of 10 percentage points to avoid a run-off on Nov. 22.
“It looks probable that we will have a second round after the October election,” said Jimena Blanco, senior Latin America analyst at Verisk Maplecroft in London. A first round win for Scioli isn’t “impossible, but he would have to get to 40 percent and we would have to assume that Macri doesn’t increase his vote either.”
Macri has pledged to change policies implemented by President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner that fueled inflation and a widening budget deficit, while cutting poverty rates earlier in her two terms. Scioli has vowed to continue social spending and make some policy changes to attract investment. Both candidates have signaled they want to end Argentina’s near pariah status in financial markets following defaults last year and in 2001.