April 27, 2015 / 6:02 PM / 5 years ago

Mexico's ruling PRI leads field ahead of mid-term vote - poll

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) leads the field ahead of looming mid-term elections, a poll released on Monday showed, with its razor-thin majority in the lower house and ability to pass legislation at stake.

On June 7, Mexicans will head to the ballot box to elect new lower house lawmakers, and governors and local officials in various states, in the first national vote since the 2012 election won by President Enrique Pena Nieto’s centre-right PRI.

With its allies, the PRI has a slim majority in the lower house, which has helped it to pass major reforms such as opening of the oil sector and a telecoms overhaul.

But the mid-term vote could upset that lead and refashion the house before the next national election in 2018, making it harder for the PRI to pass laws.

However, while Pena Nieto’s approval rating has been hammered by allegations of graft over house purchases from government contractors and a weaker-than-expected economy, Mexico’s main opposition parties are in disarray.

According to the poll, commissioned by Mexican newspaper El Financiero, 32 percent of respondents would likely vote for the PRI, while 24 percent would vote for the second-placed conservative National Action Party (PAN), which ruled Mexico between 2000 and 2012.

The leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), which has been tarnished by infighting following the revelation that one of its mayors in southwestern Mexico was allegedly behind the disappearance and apparent massacre of 43 students last year, would likely draw 13 percent of the vote, the poll found.

The Green party, an ally of the PRI that has papered the country with its political advertising, came in fourth place, with 8 percent of those polled saying they would vote for the nominally ecological party that has supported the introduction of the death penalty.

The national survey conducted by pollster Parametria questioned 1,200 people between April 18-22, and had a margin of error of 2.8 percent.

Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Simon Gardner and Bernadette Baum

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