Argentine media called the presidential election in favor of Alberto Fernandez soon after polls closed on Sunday, a worrying early sign for conservative incumbent Mauricio Macri who trailed far behind his challenger in pre-election polls, reports Trend referring to Reuters.
Local TV stations said that Fernandez had beaten Macri, and one said that he would win outright without the need for a second-round vote. Fernandez’s party, which won an August primary election by a landslide, was also bullish.
“We improved our electoral performance from the primaries at a national and provincial level,” Santiago Cafiero, a spokesman for Fernandez’s Frente de Todos party, told reporters.
Polling stations shut at 6 p.m. (2100 GMT) on Sunday evening after a day of voting that was expected to shift the South American country back sharply towards the Peronist left.
People lined up outside polling stations around the country, in an overcast Buenos Aires, amid the Pampas farmlands and in the vineyards of Mendoza. The first official results are expected in a couple of hours.
The election pitted Macri’s tough-love austerity against the “social contract” of the left-leaning opposition, whose populism has lured voters, hurt badly by a snarling economic crisis. Fernandez had a wide lead in pre-election polls.
“I voted for Fernandez because I see people just very unhappy in the street and I want a country with a better economy and more social support,” Carlos Berenguer, 71, said outside a polling station in the district of Palermo in Buenos Aires.