Latest presidential polls in Chile show leftist Boric in the lead

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Chilean presidential candidate Gabriel Boric, of the left-wing coalition “Apruebo Dignidad” (I Approve Dignity), arrives for a live televised debate in Santiago, Chile, December 13, 2021. REUTERS / Ivan Alvarado / File Photo

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SANTIAGO, December 18 (Reuters) – Chilean leftist Gabriel Boric has widened his lead in the latest polls ahead of the Andean country’s presidential election on Sunday, although the polarized race remains tight against ultra-conservative rival Jose Antonio Kast.

Ahead of the run-off, two private polls seen by Reuters showed that the 35-year-old former student protest leader Boric was ahead of Kast, 55, a far-right lawyer who has championed the legacy of military dictator Augusto Pinochet.

Chile, the world’s largest producer of copper and long a model of market-driven economic policy in Latin America, is on the verge of its most controversial presidential poll in decades, with candidates outside the mainstream centrist parties.

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A private Cadem poll, which polled 1,007 people with a 3.1% margin of error, showed Boric winning 55% of the vote to Kast’s 45%, widening his lead last week when a similar poll showed it with 52% against 48% for Kast.

A second poll by consultancy firm Atlas Intel, which showed a draw earlier in the week, now places Boric in the lead with 51% voting preferences compared to 49% for Kast. The survey covered 4,062 people with a margin of error of 1%.

The country is in a two-week blackout where pollsters cannot openly publish polling surveys, but private polls are often ordered.

Early opinion polls after the Nov. 21 first-round vote favored Boric, although that lead appeared to narrow until the most recent polls.

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Reporting by Natalia Ramos; Editing by Adam Jourdan and Diane Craft

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