The results of the first poll of the year before the upcoming presidential election in Colombia showed two clear favorites to replace President Juan Manuel Santos: former Bogotá mayor Gustavo Petro and former Antioquia governor Sergio Fajardo.
Petro received 23.5% of the responses in the poll conducted by Invamer, while Fajardo garnered 20.2% among those asked who they would vote for if the election was held tomorrow and the listed candidates were on the the ballot.
That results, detailed by Colombian magazine Semana, were particularly favorable for Gustavo Petro, who finished second in the final poll of 2017 when he received support from just 14.3% of Colombians.
Former vice president Germán Vargas Lleras (15.6%) and Humberto de la Calle (11.0%), who was the lead governmental peace negotiator in talks that ended more than a half-century of conflict with the FARC in 2016, also each accounted for more than 10% of the responses.
Iván Duque (9.2%), Clara López Obregón (4.2%), Juan Carlos Pinzón (3.4%), Viviane Morales (2.2%), and Piedad Córdoba (1.7%) rounded out the field.
(Pollsters also conducted a second ballot scenario in which Marta Lucía Ramírez replaced Duque as the right-leaning coalition candidate. The results were similar. Ramírez received less support than Duque, at 7.6%, while Fajardo, at 21.6%, garnered even greater support in this scenario. Petro was virtually unchanged while Vargas Lleras and De la Calle were down slightly by less than a percentage point.)
Controversial candidate, former FARC high commander Rodrigo Londoño, aka, Timochenko, was also among the choices presented by Invamer and finished in last place, gaining support from just 1.6% of those surveyed.
The poll surveyed 1,200 people who said they intend to vote throughout 41 municipalities in 26 departments of Colombia.
The first round of the election will take place on May 27. With it likely that no candidate will receive more than a 50% majority of the votes cast, a second-round runoff between the top two vote-getters is expected to be held on June 17.
Photo: Gustavo Petro, former mayor of Bogotá. (Credit: Prensa de Bogotá)