Venezuelans Would Shun Pro-Chávez Candidates

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – People in Venezuela are not keen on having a legislature controlled by politicians akin to current president Hugo Chávez, according to a poll by Hinterlaces. 51 per cent of respondents would like the National Assembly to have a balance of political forces, while 25 per cent would prefer a pro-government majority.

When asked about who they would support in the next legislative election, 34 per cent of respondents would back independent candidates, 28 per cent would support pro-Chávez candidates, and 26 per cent would back representatives of the opposition.

Chávez—a left-leaning leader—has been in office since February 1999. In July 2000, he was elected to a six-year term with 59.5 per cent of all cast ballots. In August 2004, Chávez won a referendum on his tenure with 59 per cent of the vote. The special election was called after opposition organizations in Venezuela gathered 2.5 million signatures to force a recall ballot. In December 2006, Chávez earned a new six-year term with 62.89 per cent of the vote.

On Feb. 2, Chávez said he expects to celebrate another 11 years in office, saying, “I’m 55 years old, with 11 years as president now. I promise I’ll take care of myself a little better and, if you like, in 11 years I’ll be 66—God willing—with 22 years as president.”

The next legislative election is scheduled to take place on Sept. 26.

Polling Data

If the legislative election took place this Sunday, who would you vote for?

Independent candidates 34%
Pro-Chávez candidates 28%
Opposition candidates 26%
Not sure / Other 12%

Which of these outcomes would you prefer in the election to the National Assembly?

A balance of political forces 51%
A pro-Chávez majority 25%
An opposition majority 17%
Not sure / Other 7%

Source: Hinterlaces
Methodology: Face-to-face interviews with 1,200 Venezuelan adults, conducted from Jan. 25 to Jan. 28, 2010. Margin of error is 2.8 per cent.