July 2, 2018 / 12:49 AM / 3 months ago

Big wins seen for Mexican leftist's party in state votes - exit poll

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican presidential front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s party was poised for decisive victories in at least four gubernatorial races on Sunday, according to an exit poll, hinting at a major triumph for the leftist in the presidential contest.

A supporter of presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador waves a flag depicting him outside a hotel while waiting for the presidential election results in downtown Mexico City, Mexico, July 1, 2018. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini

Soon after voting stations began closing, the poll by Consulta Mitofsky found that candidates for Lopez Obrador’s National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) were expected to win the Veracruz, Morelos, Chiapas and Tabasco gubernatorial elections.

Mitofsky’s exit poll covered six of Sunday’s nine regional government races, and showed MORENA was also set to win the highly prized position of Mexico City mayor, as expected.

Cuitlahuac Garcia, MORENA candidate for governor in the populous state of Veracruz, was expected to win between 46.9 percent and 54.1 percent of the vote, putting him more than 10 percentage points ahead of his closest rival, the poll showed.

Voter surveys before the Veracruz election had shown Garcia to be in a tight race with his main competitor.

Claudia Sheinbaum, a close Lopez Obrador ally and the MORENA candidate for Mexico City mayor, was seen winning between 47.5 percent and 55.5 percent of the vote, the poll found.

She has long been the favourite to emulate Lopez Obrador, himself a former mayor of Mexico City.

MORENA’s candidate, however, was projected to lose the gubernatorial election in Guanajuato, as forecast, the poll showed.

Results for the races in the states of Jalisco, Yucatan and Puebla were not included by Mitofsky.

Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Dave Graham and Paul Simao

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