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Understanding Recent Election results in Venezuela. Francisco J. Monaldi Harvard university | iESA. Wilson Center, January 2014. The context. A dying president, a Boom, and an economic crisis. The largest w indfall in history. Source: IMF.

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understanding recent election results in venezuela

Understanding Recent Election results in Venezuela

Francisco J. Monaldi

Harvard university | iESA

Wilson Center, January 2014

the context
The context

A dying president, a Boom, and an economic crisis

slide6

Thepublic sector deficitin theyear to the 2012 electionat historicalhighof close to 17% of GDP, with total publicexpendituresalso at a historicalhigh of around50% of GDP. Thiswhentheprice of oilisalso at a historicalpeak.

Source: BCV and Barclays

slide12

Record-high turnout

Source: CNE (99% of ballots counted)

slide14

Increasingly competitive elections

It can be seen that elections have become more competitive since 2007. There were four elections between 2007 and 2010 and the opposition attained a majority of the popular vote in two of them, while the vote margin was close in all of them. In contrast, before 2007, the government won all elections with a wide margin.

The last five electoral cycles have become much more competitive between the government and the opposition

Fuente: CNE

media access was highly unequal
Media Access washighlyunequal

CaprilesRadonski had access to three minutes of advertising mandate by Venezuela’s electoral authority (CNE).

As a candidate, Hugo Chavez also had access to those three minutes. However, as President, the Ley Resorte(Venezuela’s law regulating mass media which is enforced by the national government) allows him (the government) 10 minutes of general broadcast per day and 38 minutes of “cadena” per day publicizing government works.

In sum, Capriles’ messages were broadcasted through all national media airwaves for three minutes a day, while Chavez’s messages were broadcasted through all national media for 51 minutes a day.

Fuente: CNE cálculos propios.

slide17

Very high turnout, although lower than 2012

Source: CNE (98,9% of ballots counted)

maduro narrowly wins the highly contested 2013 presidential elections
Maduro narrowly WINS THE highly contested 2013 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

Source: CNE (98,9% ballots counted)

slide19

Unfair Media coverage of the 2013 electionsthemostsignificant abuse of power in thehistory of venezuelanelectionssignificantinrregularitiesontheday of theelections

The two main channels in the country (Venevisión and Televen) had a balanced coverage of both candidates in the news.

While the opposition-leaning channel showed preference for Capriles, only surpassed by the bias showcased by the official state channel for Maduro.

Fuente: CNE

slide20

With Chavez as incumbent elections were not competitive, but he won by less than the average for incumbents in the region (27%)Maduro was not an incumbent and the economy did not fare well

2013 municipal elections

2,792 public office positions were elected: 

    • 335 mayors.
    • 2,435 municipal council members
      • 686 chosen through PR
      • 1,680 chosen by plurality
2013 MUNICIPAL elections

DECEMBER 16TH 2013

slide22

Average turnout for local/regional elections

Source: CNE (98,9% of ballots counted)

chavismo beats the opposition by a margin similar to that of the 2012 presidential elections
Chavismo beats the opposition by a margin similar to that of the 2012 presidential elections

The victory margin rises to 10.62 percentage points if we account for government-and-opposition-affiliated parties in the comparison.

Source: CNE (98,9% ballots counted)

opposition won six of the ten largest municipalities in the country
Opposition won six of the ten largest municipalities in the country

* Ranking designedby N° of voters

the municipal balance of power shifted slightly in favor of the opposition
The municipal balance of power shifted slightly in favor of the opposition
  • Chavismo lost 23 mayorships, passing from 265 mayorships to 242.
    • They managed to maintain the Capital District (Libertador); as well as some large cities like Maracay, Pto. Ordaz, Barcelona and Pto. La Cruz. The government also held comfortable victory margins in mid-sized cities like San Francisco, Los Teques, La Victoria, Puerto Cabello, San Carlos, Coro and San Felipe.
  • The opposition obtained 76 mayors (from 54 it previously held).
    • They maintained the Caracas Metropolitan Mayor under their control, as well as four out of the five municipalities of Caracas.
    • They also gained flagship municipalities like Barinas (capital of Chávez home state), Valera, Valle de la Pascua and Maturín, all of these traditionally chavista strongholds.
slide26

Historical electoral results 2004-2013:Theoppositionfaredworse in votes than in 2008 but won more positions becauseitranunited

slide27

2013 was a year of mostlynegativeviewsonthecountry’ssituationwith a slightrecoverytowardstheend

DAKA effect

Field dates: Nov 12-26 (post Daka’sorganizedlooting). Pollingfirm: Datanalisis.

slide29

Chavismo candidates experienced a boost the month of Daka’s “looting”

DAKA

Field dates: Nov 12-26 (post Daka’sorganizedlooting). Pollingfirm: Datanalisis.

slide30

Government evaluation became a good proxy for the Municipal Election Results

DAKA

Field dates: Nov 12-26 (post Daka’sorganizedlooting). Pollingfirm: Datanalisis.

final comments
Final Comments
  • In October 2012 Chavez won by a smaller margin than he should have.
  • In April 2014 Maduro barely won (if he did). The economy and the fact that he was not the incumbent led him to lose 9 pp of the margin, despite all the blatant abuse of power and electoral irregularities.
  • The municipal elections of December 2013 were a significant victory for Maduro, given the terrible economic situation.
  • The opposition did significantly better than in 2008 largely as a result of running unified.
  • Next elections: at the end of 2015 for all seats in the National Assembly
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