Thursday, July 06, 2006

Mexico: the recount

Mexico is currently recounting the votes in its presidential election, after preliminary results (which weren't really) showed only a 1% gap between the leading candidates. And the news so far is good:

With about 70% of votes counted, left-wing candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has a slight lead over his conservative rival, Felipe Calderon.


The latest recount figures on Wednesday gave Mr Lopez Obrador 36.87% of votes compared to 34.56% for Mr Calderon.

However, officials said it was far too soon to predict the final result.

And they're right; a 0.3% lead is only about 100,000 votes, and it could easily disappear if they have (for example) counted pro-AMLO southern areas before the pro-Calderon north. So we'll just have to wait and see...

For those interested, there's more discussion on European Tribune, including some translations of Mexican media articles.

Update: According to El Universal, at 85.98% counted, AMLO leads 36.47% to 34.79%. That's a far bigger lead, and looking far less likely to be overturned. I should also add that this isn't really a recount, but rather the full and formal count of the ballots. The preliminary results of the PREP (which is not a statistically valid mechanism etc) are really just a rough guide to voting trends, and carry no legal weight. Rather, they seem to exist to allow a candidate defeated by a landslide to concede on the night. But in tighter elections, they seem less useful, if not downright harmful...

Update 2: Back to the nailbiting. is tracking the results as they come in (the bar across the top), and its now AMLO 36.09%, Calderon 35.13%, with 92.45% counted. Whoever wins is going to do it by a nose. Of course, a single vote is all you need...


and at 9pm, with 97.64 votes counted AMLO leads by 0.01% - talk about too close to call...

Posted by Anonymous : 7/06/2006 09:10:00 PM

At at 10:45, it's Calderon by 0.2%. Guess I was wrong about AMLO's lead being too big to eat up...

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 7/06/2006 10:50:00 PM

99.98% counted

Calderon leads by 0.57%

Looks like thats it...

Posted by Asher : 7/07/2006 07:19:00 AM

yip at 8am, it seems as if Calderon has won. Although, from what I can gather with my bad Spanish, it looks like there will be quite some wrangling ahead. I guess it would have been pretty hard for AMLO to have instigated significant reform even if he had won - given that it was going to be such a small margin. (Particularly given Mexico's sepreation of powers etc.)

Posted by Anonymous : 7/07/2006 08:32:00 AM

Of course, the leftists are marching and threatening violence if the recount doesn't provide the result they want:

Mexico's Calderon has insurmountable lead
By LISA J. ADAMS, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 16 minutes ago

MEXICO CITY - Ruling party candidate Felipe Calderon built an insurmountable lead in Mexico's presidential vote count Thursday, but his leftist rival vowed to challenge the results in court.

With 99.59 percent of the vote counted, Felipe Calderon would win even if all the remaining votes went to Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the Democratic Revolution Party. He had 35.83 percent of the vote, compared with 35.36 percent for Lopez Obrador.

Less than 200,000 votes, out of more than 41 million cast, separated the two.

Lopez Obrador supporters wept in the streets, saying they wouldn't let him be robbed of victory. At a news conference, Lopez Obrador urged his supporters to gather this weekend in downtown Mexico City, stirring fears he would mobilize massive protests that could lead to violence.

Posted by Duncan Bayne : 7/07/2006 11:46:00 AM

Duncan: Mexican governments have stolen elections in the past - the PRI basically stayed in power that way for 70 years - but I haven't seen anything to suggest that this one was anything other than free and fair. AMLO's supporters are simply being dumbarses. AMLO lost, and they'll just have to wait until next time.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 7/07/2006 12:48:00 PM

I wasn't meaning to come over as supporting Calderon (there are precious few genuinely liberal politicians in South America, and he sure as hell isn't).

I was merely observing the pattern that played out in the last two presidential elections in the US seems to be playing out there too: the left-wing candidates lost, and said left-wing candidates then start persuing legal action (and, in South America, threatening violence).

Posted by Duncan Bayne : 7/07/2006 05:02:00 PM

Duncan: there's nothing wrong with using legal action to ensure that electoral law is in fact enforced and that the results reflect the votes cast, and I'd encourage any candidate, regardless of ideological stripe, to do so if they think that there has been any hint of error or foul play.

As for the US, I note that it wasn't "leftists", but Republicans, who rioted and attempted to intimidate vote counters.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 7/07/2006 05:57:00 PM


Have you seen any of the ProtestWarrior videos, documenting the violence and threatening behaviour in response to their right-wing / Conservative views?

Have you read any of the numerous reports of left-wing supporters in the U.S. committing acts of violence against their political opponents?

Posted by Duncan Bayne : 7/10/2006 10:40:00 AM