The “day after”: damage assessment, calculations and projections after the strong slap on the wrist

The Buenos Aires electorate spoke at the polls, perhaps applying a kind of “rewards and punishments” for the Government or for the opposition forces participating in the mid-term electoral tug-of-war.

The actual dispute over the legislative “royal power” is going to be discussed in just over two months. The PASO primaries the day before are a candidate selection process and, judging by the discursive, there were “more winners than losers”.

By surprise, the opposition coalition of Juntos took a light advantage of the ruling ruling party of the Frente de Todos in the province of Buenos Aires in an electoral scenario of strong parity Just as in 2019, the popular vote punished the macrismo, two years later it punishes the current national government at the national level.

As was also indicated by the “average number of polls,” within the Juntos intern, the now first candidate for national deputy Diego Santilli (PRO) triumphed over his competitor, the radical neurosurgeon Facundo Manes.

Axel Kicillof stayed almost all election day in the government residence with his family and several officials from his ministerial cabinet (after queuing for almost an hour to vote at a health school located in the area) and waiting for the provisional count until he left to greet the militancy in a central location in La Plata together with the party leader, Máximo Kirchner and the now candidate for national deputy for the PBA, Victoria Tolosa Paz.

Before the PASO, in the Government of Calle 6 they said that “winning by one point is winning.” The best “possible” electoral result was also expected to triumph in a midterm election and after the economic and social consequences of a pandemic that has not yet ended.

The announcements of public works to generate employment and the promise of economic reactivation that the Frente de Todos did not achieve. Not even what was done during the pandemic in terms of public health and “anti-Covid” vaccination.

It is known that Kicillof’s political objective is to be able to achieve greater governance for the remainder of his term in the Buenos Aires Legislature. The “punishment vote” against the ruling power must force a deep rethink. On November 14, the ruling FdT intends to balance the balance in the Senate, where the opposition of Together for Change has an absolute majority. In political terms, the future composition of the Legislature and control of the Upper House in particular acquires a relevant role.

For the second tranche of Kicillof’s government, the ruling party needs to maintain the majority in the Chamber of Deputies and reverse the minority in the Senate, if it precisely wants to guarantee governability in the last two years of his administration in the PBA.

In general terms, the PRO deflated the domestic internal within the Juntos alliance in the province of Buenos Aires and rested on the electoral strength of the “campaign and marketing” apparatus that responds to the political interests of the Buenos Aires head of government, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, Especially in those municipalities governed by yellow mayors.

At the end of the day, the larretismo strategy of lowering the decibels of the internal coalition against radicalism did not end up playing against Juntos in general.

The Sunday night photo that each political space shows to the population will be essential to determine the strategy for November.

Another question that will become pressing as soon as the votes of the provisional ballot are counted is to what extent the winning lists will retain the votes of the defeated “white beret” in the JxC intern in November.

In any case, from the armed opposition party, it was noted that, regardless of the result that Sunday’s polls throw, the JxC lists will be unified “to beat Kirchnerism in the general elections in November and in the presidential elections of 2023.” Santilli asked not to loosen his voters and even Manes asked to regain self-esteem within the original Macrista foundation of Cambiemos.

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