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Yan Bassett, political scientist on elections

Yan Bassett, political scientist on elections

“We are facing the second round of the elections with the greatest uncertainty for a long time in Colombia. All the polls indicate that the candidates are very close, within the margin of error, but above all there are a large number of undecided who are not convinced of anyone, which does not mean only That anyone can win, but we’re not sure the margin is too narrow. It’s possible that these last-minute hesitants will collectively decide in favor of one candidate.”

The person who performed this analysis is Yann Bassett, a doctor of political science from the University of Paris who “read” two decades ago the elections in Colombia for the School of International, Political and Urban Studies at the University of Del Rosario.

There are polls in which Petro wins one point and others where Rodolfo scores another. How do you see the picture a week before the elections?
We face the second round of elections with the greatest uncertainty in Colombia for a long time. All the polls suggest the candidates are very close, within the margin of error, but above all there are a large number of undecided who are not convinced by either campaign, which means not only that anyone can win, but that we are. I’m not sure that the margin is too narrow. It is possible that those who did not make up their minds at the last minute decide en masse in favor of one candidate, but we cannot foresee that because expectations are one of many uncertainties about these two nominations by a large part of the electorate.

Marilyn Castillo is a calm and thoughtful person who knows the big questions.

Which of the candidates would prefer the blank vote more?
The white vote by definition is nothing. So to say she’d prefer someone is to make a speculative hypothesis about where white voting voters would go if not for this, and it’s hard to say. Many say she prefers Petro more because Hernandez’s vote has been more volatile, meaning he went into the second round more or less than he had last week before the first. Many undecided turned to him and now they may turn to him as well or walk out of his campaign. Suddenly there is a permeability between the Hernandez vote and the blank vote, more than the vote on Blank and Petro, but it is speculative.

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Do you think that “Petrovito” can influence Petro in the elections?
These scandals suggest that there has been a deterioration in the campaign in recent weeks with videos of one campaign taking over the other and vice versa, showing that we are talking less and less about proposals. I don’t know if that will end up affecting one or more candidates, or if it will prevent a lot of people from voting. This campaign dynamic is worrying and also that the media sometimes gives way to the game of sending in videos about one candidate or the other.

And how do you analyze the fact that Hernandez will not make a public appearance before Sunday in order not to endanger his life?
Since before the threats he said he’s not going to the discussions, so I think it’s a matter of strategy. At some point, both candidates decided not to go to the debates, and Petro did it during the campaign in the first round, and I think it didn’t work out well for them, because after doing that, they both had a low intent vote. From the point of view of democracy, I find it unfortunate that these debates do not exist, because they are so important to get more clarity about the proposals, and so that the public debate turns to them more than the scandals of the two campaigns. Get out.

“If the difference is so small, in this election we will certainly have rumors of fraud again.”

But do you think Rodolfo did well in his campaign for the second round?
He had to adjust his campaign, because he went from being semi-unknown in many parts of the country to being in the spotlight in an unexpected way and it didn’t help him at all, because it was taken for granted that he was. The frontrunner, with Federico Gutierrez’s predicted vote count, would have easily won over Petro and what polls indicate is that the predictions are not so straightforward. In the first week of the second round, he made controversial statements, especially about women, which cost him a relative drop in voting intentions. I feel that the decision not to participate in the campaign events is related to the damage reduction strategy, to avoid further losses.

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Meanwhile, Pietro who doesn’t look authentic sleeps in a poor house and fry Patacon in Choco…
That campaign had to be adjusted as well, because Hernandez was not the opponent he had planned. Pietro had hoped for a candidate for the classic left-right confrontation. With Hernandez, the scenario is different and what Petro tried to do was get rid of that image of someone walking out in discussions with complex, highly improbable intellectual references and out of people’s interests. But it was part of the strategy, because the other part was trying to make things visible about Hernandez’s tenure as mayor of Bucaramanga, the Vitalogic issue, etc. And I think this part was more successful than trying to redefine the image of Petro, which seems artificial and hard to sell.

“Hernandez was not the opponent that Pietro expected. He was expecting a candidate for a classic left-right confrontation.”

And how do you see the campaign coequiperas? Hernandez tried to make Marilyn Castillo more visible, but Pietro was seen alone, and Francia Marquez seemed to be inconspicuous…
The campaigns are in different situations, because France was already quite visible in the first round and does not need this vision. In addition, Petro assigned her to certain areas for her campaign where she fights hard, such as Antioquia, which is why she is suddenly less visible now in the big national media. As for Marilyn Castillo, Hernandez’s image campaign has tried to soften his image and do some damage control for his recent false starts, showing someone who is calm and deliberate who knows more of the big questions.

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There are rumors about what could happen if the adherents of the historical pact did not accept a final defeat …
I don’t have any specific information on that, so I don’t want to speculate. It is clear that if the difference is very small, then in this election there will certainly be rumors of fraud again and the background to the March elections and problems with pre-counting is unfortunate that can feed this kind of narrative. The situation may be tense, but from there to a social explosion, I hope it doesn’t.