Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Why I think Keiko Fujimori will win the Peru election

Before going any further and to stop my mailbox getting filled up with mails in Spanish that cast allusions on the marital status of my parents at the moment of my conception, I'm not a fan of Keiko and feel no sympathy towards her. Neither am I a fan of Ollanta Humala. In my opinion neither candidate left in the running for the Presidency of Peru will make a good President or be good for their country. Basically, I have no dog in this race. So with that said, why do I think she wins?

1) A high proportion of the undecided votes are in the higher socioeconomic groups. This has been noted by all the polling companies in their recent surveys.

2) In other words, due to the close numbers that the two candidates are polling and the significant percentage of undecideds still out there, those are the people that are left to decide who wins. It's commonly called "the Lima vote" in Peru and the basic idea all through round two has been one of whoever wins Lima, wins the job.

3) Every time Ollanta Humala has made progress in the polls, the Lima Stock Market has suffered. True yesterday, with its 5.17% drop, after the weekend polls showed Humala closing the gap between himself and Keiko Fujimori to within the margin of error on most polls and even holding a slight lead in one of them.

4) The live TV debate was generally viewed as a tie by observers in Peru (bar the rabid supporters on either side of the fight).

5) In the end the middle class in Peru is much like any other middle class around the world. They're obsessed by money and either getting rich or staying rich.

6) It won't have escaped their attention that, so far at least, Humala up = stock market down, their all-important pension fund down, Peruvian Nuevo Sol (PEN) currency down. Neither would it have escaped their attention that Keiko up = indicators positive.

7) For many of these middle class, the idea of announcing that they will vote for another Fujimori is too embarrassing to be made public, but they plan to do it anyway in the privacy of the voting booth. This is the so-called "hidden vote" factor.

8) So all in all, if it's true that the higher socioeconomic levels in Peru have the deciding vote in this election, Keiko Fujimori is in a strong position. This also explains why La Republica this morning, the only serious newspaper in Peru that supports the Humala campaign, is trying to convince its public that investors are calm and relaxed about the Humala manifesto when all evidence points to this as being a total crock.

In other words I think Keiko wins this election because, when push comes to shove, human beings are greedy and self-serving. And money talks, bullshit walks. Sad but true. DYODD.