Cadem Survey: Gabriel Boric’s popularity in Chile falls from 50% to 36% in less than two months in office | International


Gabriel Boric, president of Chile, last January.Stephen Felix (AP)

Chilean President Gabriel Boric has not yet been in office for two months, but his popularity has plummeted in his seventh week in office. According to the Cadem survey, which is carried out week by week, rejection of the way in which the left-wing president leads his government exceeds approval, with 53% against 36%, respectively. It is a rapid and pronounced fall that has made the Chilean media speak of the early end of the honeymoon that leaders usually have in their first months in power.

The rejection of his predecessor, the right-wing Sebastián Piñera, only in the 37th week of his term exceeded approval. Before her, the socialist Michelle Bachelet, in her second term, observed the same phenomenon in week 33 of her administration. It is the sign of an impatient citizenry with high expectations that has made the office of governing complex, especially in a country like Chile that is undergoing a profound process of change, with a constituent assembly in progress.

The survey by pollster Cadem was conducted in the third week of April, two days after Congress rejected two bills that would allow people to withdraw up to 10% of their savings for pensions. The first was an initiative of the deputies and the second, of the Boric Government itself, which put certain conditions on the withdrawals to avoid, in this way, an impact on the economy with an inflation already unleashed (of 9.4% per year , over Mexico or Colombia). Despite the objections of the technicians, however, withdrawals from savings for old age are popular among citizens, who resented the fact that, finally, none of the bills have been approved in Parliament. The rise in rejection, which went from 50% to 53% in a week, probably managed to capture some of the disappointment.

In the first measurement of his mandate, according to the same survey, 50% of the citizens supported the way in which Boric began to lead his government, against 20% who disapproved. But since then, approval has dropped consecutively, while rejection of driving has increased. According to the pollster, Boric’s strongholds continue to be women, young people between 18 and 34 years old, the inhabitants of Santiago and those who identify with the left. The Cadem shows that the low sectors support it less than the medium and high sectors, according to the differentiation of the survey by socioeconomic level. Among the citizens of popular groups – those most affected by inflation or insecurity – the disapproval of Boric reaches 61%.

Elected with 55% of the votes in September against José Antonio Kast of the extreme right, the indexes that show disaffection are repeated in other pollsters. According to the Citizen Pulse survey of the first fortnight of April, 22.9% of people evaluate the performance of the Minister of the Interior, Izkia Siches, as good or very good, who has faced a particularly complex start. In the first poll of the same pollster after the Government took office on March 11, this figure reached 55.5%. In the March Criteria survey, meanwhile, 45% estimated that the country is going backwards.

Siches herself, in an interview with the local press this weekend, defined these first weeks as “an installation process, not without difficulties.”

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The polls, which have had a good forecast level according to the 2021 elections, have shown, in turn, that the number of people who are willing to reject the proposed Constitution on which the constitutional convention is working has increased and which will be plebiscitated on September 4. Despite the fact that almost 80% of the voters were in October 2020 for changing the Fundamental Charter in force since 1980 – which has had dozens of modifications in democracy – the polls show disaffection with the process. In the recent Cadem survey, for example, rejection remains above approval for the fourth consecutive week: 46% against 37%. Meanwhile, only four out of 10 citizens have confidence in the Convention, its lowest point since it began its work on July 4 last year.

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