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Mexico’s left conducts poll to select candidate

November 11, 2011

The left-of-center Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) is due to announce its presidential candidate for next year’s election this weekend.

Either Marcelo Ebrard or Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will be unveiled as the PRD nominee, based on the results of two surveys to find which of the pair has greater national support.

Ebrard, the mayor of Mexico City, said he expects the result to be known by Friday, November 11. The surveys of 6,000 Mexicans were carried out last weekend by Nodos and Covarrubias Associates, with each pollster chosen by one of the candidates in the interest of fairness.

“I think (the polls) are very well designed, both teams did a good job,” Ebrard said this week, ruling out the possibility of a tie and noting that the sample size makes “the margin of error as low as possible.”

The announcement of the winner will put the spotlight back on the PRD this weekend, with the leftist party having fallen behind the ruling National Action Party (PAN) and the resurgent Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in most opinion polls. The PRD will also have the advantage of knowing its candidate long before the election and before the other parties’ nominees have been officially selected.

Regardless of who wins, the most important outcome for the PRD will be for the party – and the Mexican left – to remain unified. Ebrad affirmed that both candidates will respect the decision, while Lopez Obrador, who narrowly lost the 2006 presidential election, has also said he supports the approach and highlighted the process as proof of unity by the left wing.

Were he to lose Ebrard could continue in his current position, but it is unclear what course of action Lopez Obrador would be inclined to take if he does not win the party nomination.

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