By Marco Aquino and Marcelo Rochabrun
LIMA, Peru – An Ipsos poll on Saturday afternoon showed Peru’s runoff presidential election still locked in a statistical tie, but right-wing candidate Keiko Fujimori is slightly ahead of leftist Pedro Castillo, by a 0.7 percentage point margin.
Peruvians will head to the polls on Sunday in a bitterly divisive election that has pitted Fujimori, the daughter of jailed ex-President Alberto Fujimori, against Castillo, a little-known elementary school teacher.
Voters are divided by class and geography, with urban and higher-income Peruvians leaning toward Fujimori, and poorer, rural Peruvians leaning toward Castillo.
The Ipsos poll, which was conducted on Saturday and seen by Reuters, puts Fujimori at 44.8% of the vote and Castillo at 44.1% of the vote. Another 11.1% of voters would not vote for either candidate.
Ipsos said the poll had a margin of error of 1.4 percentage points and a sample size of 5,117.
Ipsos follows two other pollsters who have now put Fujimori slightly ahead, although still in statistical-tie territory.
Pollster IEP Saturday morning put Fujimori 0.1 percentage point ahead of Castillo, according to the results seen by Reuters. A poll on Friday by pollster CPI had Fujimori 0.2 percentage point ahead.
The race remains too close to call and all polls show a statistical tie, but Saturday’s polls show Fujimori’s best performance so far.
It is illegal within Peru to publish polls during the last week before a presidential election, although the surveys can be carried out as long as local media do not publish them.