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And the winner is….

3 July 2006

DAMN, this is close. I stopped watching the elections returns after it was announced that there wouldn’t be an official announcement until Wednesday. IFE keeps changing the figures on the official PREP (Programa de resultos electorales preliminares) and, if you refresh the screen, it’ll change (or it is as I write this).

As of NOW… Calderón leads AMLO by less than 1%. I used to think you got a better idea of actual party support by looking at Senate and Deputy results… which show PAN with about 35%, PRD-PT-Convergencia with about 30, PRI-Verde 26… and, one I can’t yet figure out, “Señora Hoffa’s” Nueva Alianza with 4.5 (but less than 1% for their presidential candidate… what-his-face).

Alternativa (Patricia Mercado’s party) is doing better than I expected in the Presidential race: 3% (and a little over 2% in Senate and Deputy counts). Patricia Mercado’s last party (in 2003) tried to appeal to an unworkable coalition of feminists, gays, Protestants, traditional indigenous people and the handicapped (and — to the party’s credit — had a viable candidate in Oaxaca — Amaranta Gomez, a one-armed, Protestant tradional Zapotec cross-dressing intellectual and educator!). This time out, Alternativa was hoping for a bit more than the “college professor vote” — and may have captured some of the left who was uncomfortable with AMLO. I don’t know if Alternativa will get any seats or not. They’ll need 2.5% to become a permanent party, and in the horse-trading that always follows the election, they may just end up with PRI-PT-Convergencia in being able to form a leftist Congressional majority.

PRI-Verde is capturing about 26% of the Senate and Deputy votes, but less than 20% for president. Partially, I’d guess that Roberto Madrazo’s personal unpopularity cost the party in the votes for the top slot, but that they still command at least a quarter of national voter preference. If you add the break-away Nueva Alianza’s 4.5%, THE party is still collecting about 30% of all votes — down from the slightly more than a third it had previously, but not a huge loss.

On the other hand Nueva Alianza — being basically Esther Elba’s creature — may back PAN, which would give them the largest bloc in Congress. HOWEVER… just to confuse matters… PRD probably will work with PRI (despite long protestations that the two will never work together, in practical terms, they’d have no choice) — bringing back Mexico to it’s traditionally left-of-center orientation… even if Calderón is President, since he’s announced he will (and in this close of an election, would have no other choice, given that his legitimacy will otherwise be challenged) form a coalition cabinet including the left.

As the saying goes… more will be revealed…

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