Elections: the geography of voting

19 June 2016

With the final tally from the second round now officially complete, it becomes possible to analyse the results in a little more detail. One of our readers wrote to us requesting this. Apart from the north-south split we mentioned before, we can see below that Kuczynski’s support appears much more solid in urban and higher-income areas while Fujimori’s is more rural and poverty-based (see also analysis from first round).

Kuczynski’s victory owed everything to the vote in the south, notably in places like Tacna, Arequipa, Cuzco and Puno. Without the endorsement he received from the left-wing Frente Amplio (FA) and its candidate Verónika Mendoza, he would not be where he is today as president-elect. In the first round, the FA topped the poll in most parts of the south, with the exception of Arequipa (the only region where Kuczynski won).

With some exceptions (Kuczynski in Cuzco, Moquegua and Arequipa; Fujimori in Tumbes, Madre de Dios, La Libertad and Piura. where there was a substantial percentage point gap, see figures below), the votes were extraordinarily evenly matched throughout most of the country and indeed abroad. In some places, like Pasco and Callao, they were precisely 50%-50%; in the latter, Kuczynski prevailed by just three votes.

In Lima, which accounts for about 36% of the voting population, Kuczynski won by 50.1% to Keiko’s 49.9%.

Examining the votes in greater detail, Alberto Adrianzén, an outgoing member of the Andean parliament, claims that Kuczynski’s vote tended to be stronger in regional capitals than in surrounding rural areas.
This was particularly the case in cities like Arequipa and Cuzco. The same was true, albeit to a lesser extent, in the regions where Fujimori won.

Adrianzén argues that the new urban ‘middle class’ tended to opt for Kuczynski, while those living in greater poverty in rural areas tended to vote for Fujimori. This could be because of residual memories of the sort of clientelistic politics that characterised the regime of Keiko’s father in the 1990s; it may also show the advantages gleaned by Keiko’s constant on-the-spot campaigning over the past five years.

Adrianzén also argues that the same sort of pattern emerges within the city of Lima, where Kuczynski mopped up in relatively higher-income neighbourhoods while Fujimori won in outlying populous urban settlements like San Juan de Lurigancho, Villa El Salvador, Ate and Villa María del Triunfo.

If the left is to recoup its former electoral strength, he says, it will need to win back hearts and minds in such areas where it was the dominant force in the 1980s. It will also need to win back lost support among the rural poor.

Support for Kuczynski: In regions where he won (in order of descending magnitude): Tacna (68.8%), Moquegua (67.9%), Arequipa (67.6%), Cuzco (65.0%), Puno (63.1%), Huancavelica (56.8%), Loreto (53.8%), Apurímac (52.1%), Peruvians resident abroad (50.9%), Cajamarca (50.1%), Lima (50.1%), Pasco (50.0%).

Support for Fujimori: Tumbes (70.6%), Madre de Dios (63.8%), La Libertad (61.1%), Piura (61.0%), Ucayali (60.3%), Lambayeque (58.9%), San Martín (55.8%), Ica (52.8%), Amazonas (52.5%), Ayacucho 51.6%), Junín (51.2%), Ancash (51.1%), Huánuco (51.0%), Callao (50.0%).

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