Americas

Ecuador exit polls indicate ruling-party candidate has clear lead but runoff in doubt

An Ecuador soldier carries a ballot box to a military truck to be delivered to a polling place in Quito, Ecuador, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. Ecuadoreans will elect a new president, vice-president and National Assembly alongside a referendum on tax havens tomorrow.
An Ecuador soldier carries a ballot box to a military truck to be delivered to a polling place in Quito, Ecuador, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. Ecuadoreans will elect a new president, vice-president and National Assembly alongside a referendum on tax havens tomorrow. AP

Exit polls from Sunday’s presidential race gave ruling party candidate Lenín Moreno a clear lead over his nearest rival, Guillermo Lasso of the CREO Party. But two exit polls cited by TVC television cast doubt on whether there will be an April 2 runoff.

A poll by Market gave Moreno 36.2 percent of the vote versus Lasso’s 26.1 percent of the vote. However, a poll conducted by Opina Ecuador gave Moreno 42.9 percent of the vote versus Lasso’s 27.7 percent.

If that second scenario is confirmed by official results, Moreno could avoid a runoff against a unified opposition.

To win Sunday, a candidate has to win at least 40 percent of the vote and hold a 10-point lead over his nearest rival to avoid a runoff. If the Opina results are confirmed by the official count, that would be the case.

Speaking to followers in Guayaquil, Lasso said he was confident he would be facing Moreno in two months. “We will be victorious in the second round,” he said.

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