Argentina results: historic election of libertarian Javier Milei

The economist was the surprise first-place winner in the primary elections. Juntos por el Cambio won second place and Peronism came in third.

Total landslide in Argentina's primary elections. Javier Milei was the most voted candidate at national level and is one foot and a half inside the more than likely second round, scheduled for November 19. The libertarian economist headed the preferences of Argentines, followed by Juntos por el Cambio (Patricia Bullrich won the internal election over Horacio Rodríguez Larreta) and leaving Peronism in third place, something that had not happened since practically the foundation of the party.

In this electoral instance, called Primary, Open, Simultaneous and Mandatory (PASO), citizens chose the candidates for the general elections of October 22. All names above 1.5% would advance to this stage. In this context, it was necessary to focus on three factors: which party would come out on top, the distance to the nearest challenger and the percentage of votes that the libertarian economist would obtain. Although pollsters agreed that he would come in third with 18% of the vote, he kicked the board and jumped to first place.

El León and La Libertad Avanza dyed the electoral map of Argentina in purple.. Obtained 30% of the votesfollowed by 28 % for Juntos por el Cambio, 17 % for Bullrich and 11 % for Larreta, who performed well below expectations. In third place, a historic figure, Peronism appears with 27 %, divided between Sergio Massa (21 %) and Juan Grabois (5 %). Graphically, the Libertarian won 17 of the 24 provinces. In the election per candidate, that is, taking into account only the percentage of votes obtained for an individual name and surname, the libertarian won 9 percentage points over the second, Massa.

The hard wing prevailed in the internal Juntos por el Cambio (Together for Change). In spite of polls projecting a scenario of much more parity, Bullrich took 61 % of the votes in the internal election, winning in all but three provinces, La Rioja, Jujuy and San Juan.

These results are not definitive, since what these elections defined was who would participate in the general elections. It will remain to be seen how many points Milei raises and who will accompany him in a hypothetical second round, whether Sergio Massa or Patricia Bullrich. In order to win in the first round in Argentina, it is necessary to obtain more than 45% of the votes or reach 40% with a difference of more than ten percentage points with the immediate pursuer. Otherwise, the two candidates with the highest number of votes will compete in a second round, in this case scheduled for November 19.

Since the return of democracy in 1983, Peronism had never fallen from first or second place in a presidential election. Not even in 2015, when a scenario of thirds threatened with airs of change. These numbers reinforce the negative trend of the Justicialist Party, which in its different reconversions lost four of the last five national elections, counting the mid-term elections.

Voz media had reported that while the polls projected one thing, the scenario was one of total uncertainty. The two media events of insecurity that made headlines during the last week of the campaign favored the proposals with harsher speeches.

Milei spoke from his bunker after 11:40 pm and began his speech with his characteristic shout, "¡Viva la libertad carajo! "We are facing the end of the caste model, that which says that behind every need there is a right, whose greatest aberration is social justice. Today we took the first step towards the recovery of Argentina", he declared.

The economist spoke of reducing taxes, lowering public spending, opening up the economy and defending "life, liberty and private property" to the hilt.

"I want to thank all those who joined us during 2022 and thus we have been able to build this competitive alternative that will not only put an end to Kirchnerism, but also will put an end to the useless parasitic political caste in this country."He added, and then took the opportunity to thank his family and his five dogs, whom he named one by one.

What does this mean for Argentina?

To begin with, it manifests the population's desire for change, but not just any change. Voters could have opted for a more moderate option, embodied by the mayor of Buenos Aires. However, they demanded a strong 180-degree turnaround. They relied on Milei as first choice and on Bullrich to be the candidate of Juntos por el Cambio, making it clear that they are thirsty for deep reforms.

"As news for the future of Argentina, as it implies the need for a drastic change of course towards a normal country, it is very good news. More than half of the Argentines have voted for a drastic change. Peronism lost almost everywhere. There is a popular support for that change to be made", said to Voz Media Aldo Abram, executive director of Fundación Libertad y Progreso.

For her part, political analyst Camila Castelli, Milei's surprise "is no longer only about an 'angry vote'", but now "we are starting to talk about a vote with conviction, a great desire to lower taxes and, of course, open markets. Peronism was the third party to mark a historical milestone: the average Argentine is not interested in the 2023 agenda, he is interested in having more facilities to work and produce", he continued.

Argentina primary results

La Libertad Avanza (Javier Milei): 30 %.

Juntos por el Cambio (Patricia Bullrich + Horacio Rodríguez Larreta): 28 %.

Unión por la Patria (Sergio Massa + Juan Grabois): 27 %.

Hacemos por Nuestro País (Juan Schiaretti): 4 %.

Frente de Izquierda Unidad (Myriam Bregman): 3 %.