2009–10 Chilean presidential election

The first round of the Chilean presidential election of 2009–2010 was held on Sunday December 13, 2009. Based on the two-round system, since none of the candidates secured the absolute majority needed to take the presidency outright, a run-off between the two most-voted candidates —center-right Sebastián Piñera and center-left Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle— was held on Sunday, January 17, 2010.[1] Piñera, who won the runoff with about 51.6% of the vote, succeeded Michelle Bachelet on March 11, 2010. Parliamentary elections took place on the same day.

Runoff election

January 17, 2010
 
Candidate Sebastián Piñera Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle
Party National Renewal Christian Democratic
Alliance Coalition for Change Concertación
Popular vote 3,591,182 3,367,790
Percentage 51.61% 48.39%

Presidential runoff election results map. Blue denotes communes won by Piñera, Orange denotes those won by Frei.

President before election

Michelle Bachelet
Socialist

Elected President

Sebastián Piñera
National Renewal

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Chilean politics is dominated by two main coalitions: the center-left Concert of Parties for Democracy (Concertación de Partidos por la Democracia), composed of the Christian Democrat Party, the Socialist Party, the Party for Democracy, and the Social Democrat Radical Party; and the center-right[2] Alliance for Chile (Alianza por Chile), composed of the Independent Democratic Union and National Renewal. The Concertación selected former president Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle as their candidate, while the Alianza chose former presidential candidate Sebastián Piñera, who is supported by the newly created Coalition for Change electoral group. The far-left Juntos Podemos Más pact selected former Socialist Party member Jorge Arrate as its candidate. Another former Socialist party member, deputy Marco Enríquez-Ominami (MEO), ran as independent.

Summary of candidates

The following four were the official candidates for President:

CandidateEndorsementPolitical spectrum
Jorge Arrate
Communist Party of Chile
Juntos Podemos Más
New Left[3]
Left
Marco Enríquez-Ominami
Independent
New Majority for Chile
Broad Social Movement[4]
Center-left
Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle
Christian Democrat Party
Concertación
Country Force
Center-left
Sebastián Piñera
National Renewal
Coalition for ChangeCenter-right

Coalition for Change candidate

Sebastián Piñera
(RN)
Both Alliance for Chile parties —RN and UDI— chose Sebastián Piñera as their candidate for president, now under the banner of a larger electoral pact, the Coalition for Change, which also includes the newly formed party ChileFirst and other minor groups.

Party pre-candidates

PartyCandidateRemarks
RN Sebastián Piñera Piñera participated in Hernán Büchi's 1989 presidential campaign and was later elected to the Senate. He was a potential presidential nominee in 1993, but his chances were ruined by a conflict with Evelyn Matthei that came to be known as Piñeragate. In 1999 he again attempted to be the nominee, but was defeated in the convention by Joaquín Lavín. In 2005 he shook the political scene by jumping into the first round independently of the UDI. Polls show him narrowly beating Frei in a runoff scenario. He was officially proclaimed by RN on August 8, 2009.[5] He submitted his candidacy to the Electoral Service on September 9, 2009.[6]
UDI Sebastián Piñera The UDI officially proclaimed Piñera as its candidate on August 22, 2009.[7] Piñera had been proposed as the party's candidate by the UDI's Consejo Directivo in December 2008.[8]

Pre-candidates:

  • Evelyn Matthei: She is the daughter of Air Force General Fernando Matthei, a member of the military junta that took power in the 1973 coup. She was a member of National Renewal, but in 1992 was embroiled in a conflict with Sebastián Piñera, ending with her leaving the party and joining the UDI. She has been mentioned as a potential UDI candidate, considering she is among the leading proponents of having the UDI bring its own candidate to the first round. She has said it would be "fun" to compete against Piñera. Longueira said on October 9, 2008 that she would be an excellent candidate. On October 11, 2008, she said she was willing to run for president.[9] She announced her precandidacy on October 14, 2008.[10]

Potential candidates:

  • Joaquín Lavín: He earned a master's degree in economics from the University of Chicago. Afterwards, in 1992, Lavín was elected mayor of Las Condes, a stronghold of the right, with 31% of the vote and reelected in 1997 with 78% of the vote. Lavín was the presidential candidate for the UDI-RN coalition Alliance for Chile in the 1999 election. He eventually lost to PS/PPD candidate Ricardo Lagos in a runoff by 200,000 votes. Lavín again represented UDI in the 2005 presidential election, but ended in third place with 23.23% of the vote, due the presence of another right-wing candidate in the race, Sebastián Piñera, who made it to the runoff election with 25.41% of the vote. Pablo Longueira urged him to run for a third time for the presidential elections, but he refused and ended up running for a senate seat in the Valparaíso Region which he lost.[11]
  • Hernán Larraín: He is a senator and former president of the UDI. Longueira said on October 9, 2008 that he would be an excellent candidate.

Declined candidacies:

  • Hernán Büchi: A possible candidacy by the 1990 presidential candidate generated buzz within the UDI in June 2007. He has however declined a candidacy.
  • Pablo Longueira: The senator officially launched his candidacy on March 30, 2007. He had announced his plans before the 2005 election took place. He stepped down "momentarily" due to "low party support" on May 3, 2007.[12]
  • Jacqueline van Rysselberghe: The mayor of Concepción was proclaimed, on October 11, 2006, as candidate by five UDI deputies from the Biobío Region. She has refused to campaign for the nomination, however, preferring to concentrate on her 2008 campaign for reelection as mayor. She was reelected as Concepción mayor in October 2008.
CH1 Sebastián Piñera

ChileFirst decided to support Piñera on March 29, 2009 after its leader, senator Fernando Flores, declined to run for president.[13] It officially proclaimed him on August 15, 2009.[14]

Declined candidacies:

  • Fernando Flores: The former minister of Salvador Allende and current senator launched a failed presidential bid for the 2005 election. He resigned from the PPD in early 2007 and launched a new party, ChileFirst. On March 29, 2009 ChileFirst decided to support Piñera after Flores declined to run for president.[13]

Concertación candidate

Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle
(PDC)
The Concertación selected former president Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle from the Christian Democrat Party as its single candidate for president. The selection process involved a single regional primary on April 5, 2009 in the Maule and O'Higgins regions between Frei and José Antonio Gómez from the Social Democrat Radical Party. Frei won with 65% versus 35% of Gómez. Had the percentage difference between both candidates been less than 20%, the selection process would have continued with additional primaries in other regions until May 17.

Frei was legally proclaimed as presidential candidate by the PPD on August 1, 2009[15] and by the PDC, PS and PRSD on August 22, 2009.[16] He submitted his candidacy to the Electoral Service on September 12, 2009.[17]

Party pre-candidates

Each Concertación party selected its own pre-candidate for president. Only Frei and Gómez submitted their candidacies before the January 26, 2009 deadline.

PartyCandidateRemarks
PRSD José Antonio Gómez He was proclaimed by his party on November 13, 2008. He had announced his pre-candidacy two days earlier.[18]
PDC Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle He was proclaimed by his party on December 13, 2008.[19]

Other candidates:

  • Pablo Lorenzini: On December 16, 2008, he said he was supporting Frei's candidacy.[20]
  • Marcelo Trivelli: He announced his candidacy on June 10, 2007 during a television interview. Despite his lack of a support base, he declared himself the candidate of "honesty and sincerity" and respect towards the Constitution.[21] Trivelli received heavy criticism from his own party because of his decision to run, and many party members declared it was not the appropriate time for candidacies.[22] Trivelli has embarked on a number of trips around the country in order to create enough support to sustain his candidacy.[23]

Declined candidacy:

  • Soledad Alvear: She was constantly mentioned as a potential contender in 2009 ever since she resigned from her candidacy in favor of Bachelet. Her supporters, the alvearistas, controlled most of the PDC institutions and she commanded widespread support in the party, despite the vocal opposition of fellow Senator Adolfo Zaldívar. On December 6, 2007, she was unofficially proclaimed a presidential candidate by Christian Democrat deputy Pablo Lorenzini.[24] She declared herself a candidate on June 23, 2008 during a television interview.[25] On October 28, 2008, she stepped out of the race for the presidency and resigned as PDC president after disappointing results in the municipal elections held two days earlier.
PS Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle The PS selected Frei as its candidate on January 17, 2009. He was the only person to submit a candidacy to the PS presidential convention.

Declined candidacies:

  • José Miguel Insulza: He declared himself a candidate on December 12, 2008.[26] He, however, declined his candidacy on January 5, 2009, and gave his support to Frei.
  • Ricardo Lagos: His government was highly popular and his term ended with approval ratings around 60-70%. Various supporters urged him to run again in 2009. However, his popularity has lately seen a sharp fall due to the catastrophic new transport system (Transantiago), planned under his presidency. Lagos has declared all doors are open to him, but has refused to confirm whether he will participate. In March 2008, he said it was unbecoming as a former head of state to participate in a primary and would refuse to do so.[27] On November 8, 2008, he was proclaimed unanimously by the PPD's National Directive as its candidate, but Lagos never accepted the nomination.[28] On December 2, 2008, the PPD officially proclaimed Lagos as its candidate for the presidency.[29] However, two days later, Lagos ruled out running for the presidency, stating in a press conference "I am not, nor will I be, a presidential candidate".[30]
PPD Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle The PPD selected Frei as its candidate on January 24, 2009, with 296 votes from the party's National Council, against seven for PRSD candidate José Antonio Gómez.[31]

Other candidates:

  • Sergio Bitar: In a May 4, 2007 interview with La Tercera, he said he was willing to be his party's presidential nominee if there was enough support.[32] On November 7, 2008 he said that he is "without a doubt" willing to compete eventually for the presidency, but only if Ricardo Lagos's candidacy does not prosper.[33] He declined his candidacy on November 10, 2008, following Lagos's proclamation by his party.[34] Now that Lagos is out of the race, he may attempt a second run.
  • Nicolás Eyzaguirre: He has said that he could participate if Lagos declines to, but he remained silent after Lagos declined his candidacy.
  • Ricardo Lagos: On December 4, 2008 he ruled out running for the presidency, stating in a press conference "I am not, nor will I be, a presidential candidate".[30]
Independent
candidates
None Failed candidacies:
  • Marco Enríquez-Ominami: On December 15, 2008, he announced he was available to compete with Insulza in a Socialist Party primary.[35] He, however, did not submit his candidacy to the PS presidential convention. On January 9, 2009, he agreed to compete in the Concertación primaries as independent after gaining the support of some council people and legislators.[36]

Primary results

The primary was carried out on April 5, 2009 in the Maule and O'Higgins regions. Frei became the single Concertación candidate by beating Gómez by a 20-point lead, cancelling the need for further regional primaries.

Final results.[37]

CandidatePartyVotes%Result
Eduardo Frei Ruiz-TagleDC40,14064.90Concertación candidate
José Antonio GómezPRSD21,70335.09
Valid votes61,843100
Null votes2220.35
Blank votes3170.50
Total votes62,382100

Juntos Podemos candidate

Jorge Arrate
(Communist Party of Chile)
The Juntos Podemos Más coalition of far-left parties selected former Socialist Party member Jorge Arrate as its sole candidate for president on April 25, 2009. He was officially proclaimed as candidate on April 26, 2009.[38] In July 2009, after his candidacy lost the support of the Humanist Party, he became a member of the Communist Party in order to comply with the law and run for president. He submitted his candidacy to the Electoral Service on September 9, 2009.[39]

Party pre-candidates

PartyCandidateRemarks
PCCh Guillermo Teillier Teillier launched his candidacy on September 26, 2008. He said he is willing to step down in order to put forward a single candidate for the Juntos Podemos coalition of left-parties.[40] In November 2008 he said he would be willing to participate in a primary between him, Hirsch and Alejandro Navarro, who had quit the Socialist Party.[41] Teillier stepped down as Juntos Podemos pre-candidate on April 25, 2009, giving his support to Jorge Arrate, saying he was the right person according to the country's political moment.
PH Tomás Hirsch Hirsch was among the founders of the Humanist Party and vied unsuccessfully for seats in the Chamber of Deputies as part of the Concertación. In 1993, the PH broke off from the coalition. In 1999 he was the Humanist presidential candidate, but lost in the first round. In 2005, he again participated in the presidential campaign, now with the additional support of the communists. He garnered a little over 5% of the vote. In an interview with Biobío Radio on September 1, 2007, Hirsch criticized the Concertación and the Alianza and declared that he would he "happy to be a candidate" if the members of his coalition agree.[42] On June 7, 2008 he announced he intended to run for the presidency for the third time as the PH candidate, under the Juntos Podemos umbrella.[43]
Independent (Socialista-allendista) Jorge Arrate Arrate is a member of the more leftist faction of the PS and had been mentioned as a potential candidate in an alliance of this faction and the Juntos Podemos Más pact. He formally announced his candidacy on January 27, 2008, pressured by a group of socialists opposed to the Socialist Party leadership.[44] On November 20, 2008, Arrate was proclaimed as candidate by a group of Socialist Party Central Committee members.[45] Arrate resigned from the PS on January 14, 2009.[46] He was proclaimed as presidential candidate on January 18, 2009 by a group of Socialist Party members, the so-called "socialistas-allendistas.[47]

Primary results

The election to define the sole Juntos Podemos candidate was carried out on April 25, 2009 in Santiago. Arrate beat Hirsch and became the single Juntos Podemos candidate.

Final results.[48]

CandidatePartyVotes%Result
Jorge ArrateInd.1,14577.57Juntos Podemos candidate
Tomás HirschPH33122.42
Valid votes1,476100
Null votes60.40
Blank votes20.13
Total votes1,484100

Independent candidate

Marco Enríquez-Ominami
(Ind.)
On December 15, 2008, he announced he was available to compete with Insulza in a Socialist Party primary.[35] He, however, did not submit his candidacy to the PS presidential convention. On January 9, 2009, he agreed to compete in the Concertación primaries as independent after gaining the support of some council people and legislators.[36] He did not submit his candidacy, however. Instead he is running as an independent and as of August, 2009, polling above 20% and thus threatening to displace one of the coalition-backed candidates in the expected run-off election. He was proclaimed candidate by the Humanist and Ecologist parties plus several other leftist groups under the banner of a new electoral pact, a New Majority for Chile, on September 13, 2009.[49] He submitted his candidacy to the Electoral Service on September 10, 2009.[50]

Unsuccessful candidacies

  • Eduardo Artés (PC (AP)): He was proclaimed as a Juntos Podemos Más pre-candidate by the Communist Party (Proletarian Action) on December 7, 2007.[51] However, on July 26, 2008, the PC (AP) left the Juntos Podemos Más pact, accusing them of abandoning their founding principles in light of the pact's electoral deal with the Concertación for the upcoming October municipal elections.[52] He quit his candidacy in July 2009. He said his candidacy was just an opportunity to present new ideas to the country, as going through with the candidacy would be too economically onerous.[53]
  • Leonardo Farkas (Ind.): A mining businessman.[54] On December 5, 2008, he announced he was giving up his presidential candidacy.[55]
  • Pamela Jiles (Ind.): Journalist and television presenter. She announced her candidacy in February 2009 through a column in The Clinic magazine.[56] On September 4, 2009 she stepped out of the race in support of Navarro.[57] In the same election, she unsuccessfully ran for a seat in the lower chamber of Congress.
  • Luis Molina Vega (Ind.)[58] A civil engineer from Tomé. Molina stepped out of the race in July 2009, due to low support.[59]
  • Alejandro Navarro (MAS): Navarro used to characterize himself as a leader in the "dissident" faction of the Socialist Party, which harshly criticized what they called the "neoliberal" economic model, supporting instead Hugo Chávez and Fidel Castro. Despite his involvement in a scandal due to his participation in a protest organized by the Unitary Workers Central where he attacked a policeman, with the possibility of being expelled from the Senate being considered, Navarro declared himself to be a presidential candidate in 2008. In November 2008, he quit the Socialist Party to form a new party called Broad Social Movement (MAS). He said his candidacy was necessary to "stop Piñera from winning in the first round", and still considered himself a Socialist.[60] The MAS party proclaimed him its candidate on November 11, 2008; the party, however, was still open to stage a primary between all leftist candidates that were not part of the Concertación.[61] Navarro has proposed to hold the primary in April 2009.[62] On May 5, 2009 Navarro said he would step out of the race and support Arrate if polls released from then to September show the Juntos Podemos Más candidate having an advantage of seven points over him. He didn't rule out Arrate then supporting Enríquez-Ominami, if his candidacy was the strongest.[63] Navarro was proclaimed as the official MAS candidate on July 25, 2009 with the support of other minor left groups.[64] He submitted his candidacy to the Electoral Service on September 14, 2009.[65] On September 22, 2009 Navarro withdrew his candidacy and gave his support to Enríquez-Ominami.[66]
  • Adolfo Zaldívar (PRI): The former president of the Christian Democratic Party and a Senator at the time of his nomination, lost the last internal PDC primary to Alvear. He is the brother of senator and former Interior Minister Andrés Zaldívar. He was expelled from the PDC in December 2007, later becoming part of the Regionalist Party of the Independents (PRI). He announced his intention to run as president representing that party, and was proclaimed so on April 26, 2009.[67] This decision was ratified on August 29, 2009.[68] He stepped out of the race on September 14, 2009, just hours before the deadline for submission.[69]

Opinion polls

List of opinion polls released within a year of the election. Only responses from persons registered to vote are shown.

Legend
Not on the list
Wins election
May win election
Runoff
May go to a runoff

First-round scenarios

PublisherField dateDate publishedArrateMEOFreiPiñeraOtherDK/NRComments
CEPNovember 19-December 11, 2008December 30, 20083141721Source
La SegundaDecember 18, 2008December 19, 20083646612Source
La SegundaApril 6, 2009April 7, 2009143343712Source
La TerceraApril 6–7, 2009April 12, 200933342715Source
ImaginacciónApril 4–26, 2009May 11, 200910.532.438.37.611.2Source
TNS TimeApril 1–30, 2009May 5, 2009142936714Source
La TerceraApril 21–23, 2009April 26, 2009102835720Source
IpsosN/AApril N/A, 20090.35.125.443.3025.9Source
La SegundaMay 14, 2009May 15, 20091142742412Source
ImaginacciónMay 2–30, 2009June 11, 20090.520.929.934.95.68.2Source
TNS TimeMay 4–30, 2009June 2, 20091242533314Source
CEPMay 14-June 3, 2009June 18, 20091143034319Response to a questionnaire. (Source)
CEPMay 14-June 3, 2009June 18, 20091133037316Ballot box vote. (Source)
IpsosMay 18-June 1, 2009June 9, 20091.420.624.934.42.516.2Source
ImaginacciónJune 1–30, 2009July 14, 20092.321.528.235.92.79.4Source
MoriJune 27-July 9, 2009July 23, 20091132143319Source
La SegundaJuly 8, 2009July 10, 20092152738315Source
ImaginacciónJuly 1–31, 2009August 12, 20093.521.926.736.71.79.5Source
La TerceraJuly 20–22, 2009July 26, 20092212530220Source
CERCJuly 17-August 3, 2009August 12, 20091142539120Source
IpsosJuly 24-August 6, 2009August 19, 20091.520.622.935.62.117.3Source
Direct MediaAugust 5–6, 2009August 12, 20091.6315.4821.2834.431.3225.86Source
La SegundaAugust 12, 2009August 14, 20091202439115Source
ImaginacciónAugust 1–29, 2009September 14, 20092.320.528.237.82.410.3Source
CEPJuly 30-August 20, 2009September 3, 20091163035216Response to a questionnaire. (Source)
CEPJuly 30-August 20, 2009September 3, 20091172837215Ballot box vote. (Source)
ImaginacciónSeptember 1–30, 2009October 14, 20094.520.425.738.41.79.3Source
La SegundaSeptember 24, 2009September 25, 20094192339015Source
IpsosSeptember 16-October 6, 2009October 21, 20093.717.827.236.70.314.3Source
UDPSeptember 21-October 13, 2009October 28, 20094.117.323.730.30.624.0Source
La TerceraOctober 5–8, 2009October 10, 20096242039011Source
CERCOctober 2–13, 2009October 20, 20093202041016Source
El Mercurio-OpinaOctober 10–12, 2009October 18, 20094.921.522.838.0012.7Source
Giro País-SubjetivaOctober 9–20, 2009October 31, 20094.719.328.636.9010.5Source
ImaginacciónOctober 1–31, 2009November 16, 20096.422.327.037.806.5Source
CEPOctober 8–30, 2009November 11, 20094172635018Response to a questionnaire. (Source)
CEPOctober 8–30, 2009November 11, 20095192636014Ballot box vote. (Source)
El Mercurio-OpinaNovember 3–4, 2009November 7, 20096.120.421.538.0014.0Ballot box vote. (Source)
La SegundaNovember 18, 2009November 20, 20097202438011Source
El Mercurio-OpinaDecember 5–6, 2009December 9, 20096.819.522.638.2012.9Ballot box vote. (Source)

DK/NR: Don't know / No response.

Runoff scenarios

Frei vs. Piñera

PublisherField dateDate publishedFreiPiñeraDK/NRComments
CEPNovember 19-December 11, 2008December 30, 2008344422Source
ImaginacciónDecember 6–28, 2008January 8, 200942.544.812.7Source
La Segunda-UDDDecember 18, 2008December 19, 2008384616Source
TNS TimeJanuary N/A, 2009January 31, 2009
(unverified)
404515Source
ImaginacciónJanuary 3–31, 2009February 6, 200942.345.612.1Source
TNS TimeFebruary 2–26, 2009March 10, 2009
(unverified)
384319Source
ImaginacciónFebruary 7–28, 2009March 4, 200943.446.89.8Source
La Segunda-UDDMarch 5, 2009March 6, 2009374617Source
TNS TimeMarch 2–30, 2009March 31, 2009413920Source
ImaginacciónMarch 2–31, 2009April 8, 200944.344.711.0Source
La Segunda-UDDApril 6, 2009April 7, 2009394516Source
La TerceraApril 6–7, 2009April 12, 2009404614Source
ImaginacciónApril 4–26, 2009May 11, 200943.243.813.0Source
TNS TimeApril 1–30, 2009May 5, 2009414316Source
CERCApril 13–27, 2009May 14, 2009334720Source
La TerceraApril 21–23, 2009April 26, 2009394318Source
Giro País-SubjetivaApril 30-May 10, 2009May 16, 200940.837.921.3Source
La Segunda-UDDMay 14, 2009May 15, 2009344422Source
ImaginacciónMay 2–30, 2009June 11, 200943.144.212.7Source
TNS TimeMay 4–30, 2009June 2, 2009384319Source
CEPMay 14-June 3, 2009June 18, 2009393922Response to a questionnaire. (Source)
CEPMay 14-June 3, 2009June 18, 2009394120Ballot box vote. (Source)
IpsosMay 18-June 1, 2009June 9, 200939.642.318.1Source
ImaginacciónJune 1–30, 2009July 14, 200941.943.314.8Source
MORIJune 27-July 9, 2009July 23, 2009304624Source
La Segunda-UDDJuly 8, 2009July 10, 2009394318Source
ImaginacciónJuly 1–31, 2009August 12, 200942.844.512.7Source
CERCJuly 17-August 3, 2009August 12, 2009364420Source
IpsosJuly 24-August 6, 2009August 19, 200938.145.516.4Source
Direct MediaAugust 5–6, 2009August 12, 200930.9740.8928.14Source
CEPJuly 30-August 20, 2009September 3, 2009393922Response to a questionnaire. (Source)
CEPJuly 30-August 20, 2009September 3, 2009394219Ballot box vote. (Source)
La Segunda-UDDAugust 12, 2009August 14, 2009364519Source
ImaginacciónAugust 1–29, 2009September 14, 200942.644.612.8Source
ImaginacciónSeptember 1–30, 2009October 14, 200942.245.212.6Source
La Segunda-UDDSeptember 24, 2009September 25, 2009384715Source
IpsosSeptember 16-October 6, 2009October 21, 200939.644.515.9Source
UDPSeptember 21-October 13, 2009October 28, 200936.335.528.2Source
La TerceraOctober 5–8, 2009October 10, 2009394813Source
El Mercurio-OpinaOctober 10–12, 2009October 18, 200938.142.519.4Ballot box vote. (Source)
Giro País-SubjetivaOctober 9–20, 2009October 31, 200942.042.215.8Source
ImaginacciónOctober 1–31, 2009November 16, 200942.145.812.1Source
CEPOctober 8–30, 2009November 11, 2009364024Response to a questionnaire. (Source)
CEPOctober 8–30, 2009November 11, 2009374320Ballot box vote. (Source)
El Mercurio-OpinaNovember 3–4, 2009November 7, 200936.842.720.5Ballot box vote. (Source)
La Segunda-UDDNovember 18, 2009November 20, 2009374716Source
El Mercurio-OpinaDecember 5–6, 2009December 9, 200934.442.523.1Ballot box vote. (Source)
El Mercurio-OpinaDecember 15–17, 2009December 19, 200939.746.214.1Ballot box vote. (Source)
La Segunda-UDDDecember 17, 2009December 18, 200943489Source
El Mercurio-OpinaJanuary 5–7, 2010January 9, 201041.046.112.9Ballot box vote. (Source)

DK/NR: Don't know / No response.

Enríquez-Ominami vs. Piñera

PublisherField dateDate publishedMEOPiñeraDK/NRComments
La Segunda-UDDMay 14, 2009May 15, 2009374518Source
MORIJune 27-July 9, 2009July 23, 2009234730Source
La Segunda-UDDJuly 8, 2009July 10, 2009364519Source
La TerceraJuly 20–22, 2009July 26, 2009224929Source
CERCJuly 17-August 3, 2009August 12, 2009294427Source
IpsosJuly 24-August 6, 2009August 19, 200940.343.616.1Source
Direct MediaAugust 5–6, 2009August 12, 200931.2938.8829.83Source
CEPJuly 30-August 20, 2009September 3, 2009334027Response to a questionnaire. (Source)
CEPJuly 30-August 20, 2009September 3, 2009344422Ballot box vote. (Source)
La Segunda-UDDAugust 12, 2009August 14, 2009374518Source
ImaginacciónSeptember 1–30, 2009October 14, 200939.345.914.8Source
La Segunda-UDDSeptember 24, 2009September 25, 2009404713Source
IpsosSeptember 16-October 6, 2009October 21, 200942.342.814.9Source
UDPSeptember 21-October 13, 2009October 28, 200936.434.029.6Source
La TerceraOctober 5–8, 2009October 10, 2009434413Source
El Mercurio-OpinaOctober 10–12, 2009October 18, 200940.342.916.8Ballot-box vote. (Source)
Giro País-SubjetivaOctober 9–20, 2009October 31, 200941.140.218.7Source
ImaginacciónOctober 1–31, 2009November 16, 200942.743.413.9Source
CEPOctober 8–30, 2009November 11, 2009353728Response to a questionnaire. (Source)
CEPOctober 8–30, 2009November 11, 2009374023Ballot box vote. (Source)
El Mercurio-OpinaNovember 3–4, 2009November 7, 200937.741.920.4Ballot-box vote. (Source)
La Segunda-UDDNovember 18, 2009November 20, 2009404416Source
El Mercurio-OpinaDecember 5–6, 2009December 9, 200934.840.724.5Ballot-box vote. (Source)

DK/NR: Don't know / No response.

Arrate vs. Piñera

PublisherField dateDate publishedArratePiñeraDK/NRComments
La TerceraOctober 5–8, 2009October 10, 2009335116Source

DK/NR: Don't know / No response.

Enríquez-Ominami vs. Frei

PublisherField dateDate publishedMEOFreiDK/NRComments
UDPSeptember 21-October 13, 2009October 28, 200932.331.935.8Source

DK/NR: Don't know / No response.

Debates

The first debate was organized by TVN and took place in Studio #9 at the station's main headquarters in Santiago. It was broadcast live on September 23, 2009 at 10:40 p.m and included all four candidates. A poll published by Ipsos the following day, showed that Enríquez-Ominami, Arrate and Piñera were each considered to have had the best performance over the rest, with 29-30% of support, while Frei's showing only had the support of 9%. Frei was seen by 45% as the worst performer, followed by Piñera (37%), Arrate (10%) and Enríquez-Ominami (5%).[70] Another poll by La Segunda found 23% thought Piñera had won the debate, followed by Arrate (21%), Enríquez-Ominami (15%) and Frei (9%). 31% thought none had won the debate.[71]

The second debate was organized by Archi (Radio Broadcasters Association) and Mayor University. It took place at 8:30 AM on October 9, 2009. It was a radio-only debate, though some local 24-hour news channels broadcast live some parts of it. A poll carried out by Mayor University showed Piñera had won the debate by 41%, followed by Enríquez-Ominami (22%), Arrate (19%) and Frei Ruiz-Tagle (17%).[72]

There was an online debate on November 4, organized by Terra and Radio Cooperativa. Only Arrate was present after the other three candidates declined to attend. Frei and Piñera had confirmed their presence in May, while Enríquez-Ominami backed down on the same day of the debate.

A debate to discuss regional issues took place on November 6 at 9 AM in Talca's casino. It was organized by the National Press Association (ANP) and was attended by all four candidates.

A fifth debate took place on November 9 at Canal 13's studios in Santiago, which was broadcast live at 10 PM. All four candidates were present. This debate was notable because the candidates were able to ask questions to one another and freely talk to each other.

The last debate was organized by the National Television Association (Anatel) and broadcast live on November 16 at 10 PM by all terrestrial television stations. All candidates attended. There was no audience present.

First round results

Official and final results.[73]

Ballot
number
CandidateParty/
Coalition
Votes%Result
1Jorge Arrate Mac-NivenPCCh/JPM433,1956.21
2Marco Enríquez-Ominami GumucioIndependent1,405,12420.14
3Sebastián Piñera EcheniqueRN/CFC3,074,16444.06Runoff
4Eduardo Frei Ruiz-TaglePDC/CPD2,065,06129.60Runoff
Total valid votes6,977,544100.00
Null votes200,4202.76
Blank votes86,1721.19
Total votes7,264,136100.00
Total voters enrolled8,285,18687.68% turnout
Voting age population12,277,91567.48% registered

Note: There are 34,348 ballot boxes in the country in 34,325 polling places (23 polling places are mixed-sex, with separate ballot boxes for men and women.)

Runoff election

Campaign

On December 20, 2009, the Juntos Podemos Más coalition gave his support to Eduardo Frei's candidacy, after the former president agreed to include a number of policies into his government program.[74] Two days later, Jorge Arrate also gave his full support to Frei.[75] On January 13, 2010 Enríquez-Ominami held a press conference to state he would vote for Frei, although he did not say his name.[76] He had previously said that voting for Piñera would be a regression and voting for Frei would not be an advancement.

Debates

There was a single debate between the two candidates. It was organized by Anatel and broadcast at 10 PM by all terrestrial television stations on January 11, 2010.

Results

Official and final results.[77]

Ballot
number
CandidateParty/
Coalition
Votes%Result
3Sebastián Piñera EcheniqueRN/CFC3,591,18251.61President
4Eduardo Frei Ruiz-TaglePDC/CPD3,367,79048.39
Total valid votes6,958,972100.00
Null votes189,4902.63
Blank votes54,9090.76
Total votes7,203,371100.00
Total voters enrolled8,285,18686.94% turnout
Voting age population12,277,91567.48% registered

Note: There are 34,348 ballot boxes in the country in 34,325 polling places (23 polling places are mixed-sex, with separate ballot boxes for men and women.)

Timeline

  • September 13, 2009: Deadline to enroll to vote in the upcoming elections.
  • September 14, 2009: Deadline to register candidacies at the Electoral Service (Servel).
  • September 14, 2009: Electoral campaign begins.
  • October 5, 2009: Draw supervised by Servel to assign a ballot number to each candidate.
  • November 13, 2009: Electoral advertisement period starts.
  • December 10, 2009: Electoral advertisement period ends.
  • December 13, 2009: Election day. Electoral campaigning ends.
  • December 13, 2009: First preliminary results are announced by the Deputy Interior Minister at 6:30 p.m. local time (9:30 p.m. UTC), including 4,342 out of 34,348 ballot boxes (12.64%).
  • December 13, 2009: Second preliminary results are announced by the Deputy Interior Minister at 8:03 p.m. local time (11:03 p.m. UTC), including 20,595 ballot boxes (59.96%).
  • December 13, 2009: Third preliminary results are announced by the Deputy Interior Minister at 10:56 p.m. local time (1:56 a.m. UTC), including 33,756 ballot boxes (98.28%).
  • December 14, 2009: Fourth and final preliminary results are announced by the Deputy Interior Minister at 11:05 a.m. local time (2:05 p.m. UTC), including 34,133 ballot boxes (99.37%).
  • December 21, 2009: The Electoral Service (Servel) publishes preliminary results based on the examination of election certificates (actas de escrutinio) by the Tellers' Colleges (Colegios Escrutadores) meeting on December 14, 2009, including 34,263 out of 34,348 ballot boxes (99.75%).
  • December 29, 2009: The Tricel publishes the final results of the first round election on the Official Gazette.
  • January 3, 2009: Electoral advertisement period for runoff election starts.
  • January 7, 2009: Ballot number is assigned to each candidate according to their position in the first draw.
  • January 14, 2009: Electoral advertisement period ends.
  • January 17, 2010: Date of presidential run-off. Electoral campaigning ends.
  • January 17, 2010: First preliminary results are announced by the Deputy Interior Ministry at 6:00 p.m. local time (9:00 p.m. UTC), including results from 20,711 out of 34,348 ballot boxes (60.30%).
  • January 17, 2010: Eduardo Frei concedes the election to Sebastián Piñera at 6:44 p.m. local time (9:44 p.m. UTC).
  • January 17, 2010: Second preliminary results are announced by the Deputy Interior Ministry at 7:40 p.m. local time (10:40 p.m. UTC), including results from 34,056 ballot boxes (99.15%).
  • January 18, 2010: Third and final preliminary results are announced by the Deputy Interior Ministry at 11:00 a.m. local time (2:00 p.m. UTC), including results from 34,252 ballot boxes (99.72%).
  • January 29, 2010: The Election Qualifying Court (Tricel) officially proclaims PIñera as President-elect.
  • January 30, 2010: The Tricel publishes the Act of Proclamation on the Official Gazette.
  • February 3, 2010: The Tricel publishes the final results of the runoff election on its website.

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