| 24 July 2024, Wednesday |

Business heir Noboa leading polls ahead of Ecuador vote

The heir to a commercial empire, Daniel Noboa, is now ahead in the polls ahead of Ecuador’s presidential election later this month, but Luisa Gonzalez, the protégé of a past Marxist president, is gaining momentum, according to a poll released on Thursday.

Noboa, the son of banana tycoon Alvaro Noboa, has centered his campaign on generating employment opportunities, particularly for young people, luring in foreign capital, and utilizing technology to combat a persistent crime wave.

The 35-year-old was polling at just over 53%, while Gonzalez, who is running for the party of former President Rafael Correa and led the first round of voting, is set to win 46.7% in the vote on Oct. 15, according to polling firm Comunicaliza.

“The debate basically didn’t affect voting intention for Noboa … but it raised support for Gonzalez (+3.3%),” Alvaro Marchante, the head of the pollster wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, referring to a televised debate over the weekend.

The candidates agreed during the debate on the need to beef up security in the Andean country, but differed on how to improve the economy.

Noboa has proposed benefits for companies that hire young people and said he will promote private investment in electricity transmission and oil refining operations.

Gonzalez pledged to boost oil production and reiterated plans to inject $2.5 billion of international reserves into the economy.

Whoever is elected will govern in a shortened term until May 2025, when regularly scheduled elections will take place. This contest was called by current President Guillermo Lasso after he dissolved the legislature to avoid impeachment.

Some 12.4% of those polled have not yet decided who to vote for, while 9.7% said they would turn in blank or null votes.

The survey, conducted this week, included 5,265 people and had a margin of error of 1.35%, Comunicaliza said.

  • Reuters