Some election predictions

I am in El Salvador talking to people about the elections and preparing to be an election observer. The conversations inevitably turn to what we think might be the outcome. I am willing to put my own predictions out publicly and you can judge how I do after the results are available Sunday night.

In the National Assembly, my prediction is that the FMLN will pick up 6 seats from its current 32, ending with 38 or 5 short of a 43 seat majority.

For mayor of San Salvador, Violeta Menjivar of the FMLN will be reelected. Unlike in 2006, there is not a strong minor party candidate to siphon away votes from Menjivar. The election will not be as close as her slim 43 vote victory in 2006.

For mayor in other municipalities across the country, the FMLN will recover many of the mayors offices it lost in the 2006 elections.

There will be rumors, but no significant instances of any voting fraud affecting the elections.

If you have different predictions, submit them in the comments to this post.


Unknown said…
My prediction is that no prediction can be 100% right, except the full acount of the exercise of its voting right by the people of El Salvador.

And then, in the short, medium or even long run. The salvadoran people may choose the wrong party and president to lead them.

But while we have democracy, this may be turned around.

But if democracy is manipulated as it is being done so in bolivia, or nicaragua, we will resort, as a people, to dire methods of change.

That is not a prediction. Because we have done it before.

You can ask the fmln about how that was done.

And we are not venezuelans or cubans to take the same all knowing leader or party for decades.

That will not stand in El Salvador.

And you can ask the FMLN on how to go about not standing for that, and you can ask ARENA how it feels to let go of power after two decades.

And you can predict that WE, SALVADORANS, will not take ANY challenge to democracy lightly.


And you can also predict that our patience is not as long as that of Venezuelans or cubans.

And that we will enact changes collectively as a people.

By any means necessary.

And you can ask the FMLN how to go about that.

So they know what is coming if they missbehave.
Burke Stansbury said…
your predictions make sense; I am, however, concerned about the possibility of violence, though it seems more likely to increase in the days and weeks following January 18, especially if the FMLN does well on Sunday as expected.

also, CISPES will be blogging live reports from the elections:

plus press releases/analysis in the days following...
Anonymous said…
And cispes predicts violence because they monitored the violence that was sponsored by the FMLN around the vote counting centre on the hours and days after the last mayoral and assembly election?

Or is cispes that blind?
Anonymous said…
See the latest from WOLA on the elections at
Anonymous said…
I fear that the tension leading up the the Presidential election and on the actual voting day will be substantial. There is so much at stake, at least that is the perception of many. Any hint of fraud or manipulation could cause a reaction. This is a dense county, with population centers throughout the country. It will be an exciting day, for sure. Hopefully, all will be peaceful. An election that is not close, similar to the Obama victory, could make things from being extended after election day.
Gaby said…
Welcome to my country :D!

In my case, is the first time voting.

I'm looking forward to see how votes are conducted ^^!

And those predictions sound good.

Nice blog!
Anonymous said…
You were wrong: Violeta Menjivar and the FMLN lost San Salvador.
So, the polls were grossly wrong!
Anonymous said…
Everyone will have to wait until the counting is finished. The poll numbers and leaders have changed several times.
Carlos X. said…
Let's have some "straight talk," folks: ARENA is winning these elections. Bill Clinton showed us that it's not the mathematical totals that count if you can style yourself the "comeback kid" and defy your opponent's juggernaut of expectations by pulling out a surprise victory. Norman Quijano's upset in San Salvador changes the landscape more than the FMLN's three deputy gain in the national assembly. After all, having three more deputies than ARENA hardly consitutes a tectonic realignment for the Frente, and all their talk about their being the "premier political force" in the country rings hollow in light of the fact that it will be the Right -- ARENA, the PCN and maybe the PDC -- that can coalesce together to flex their muscles in congress (the three groups combined will constitute a simple majority, and will come within a handful of votes of a supermajority).

Morevoer, Quijano's victory raises questions that are more apt to transform the presidential election outlook than the FMLN's marginal edge in deputies. First, the political classes will question whether the polls that are showing the FMLN candidate (Mauricio Funes) leading the ARENA guy (Rodrigo Avila) are as unreliable as all the polls which showed incumbent FMLN mayor Violeta Menjivar leading Quijano for San Salvador. Secondly, pundits will question whether the FMLN, like Menjivar, is taking its lead for granted, like the proverbial hare racing against the tortoise. Third, observers will wonder whether the FMLN is running as smart a campaign, or as lean & mean an operation, as ARENA has run. If the FMLN ignores these questions, it runs a terrible risk that ARENA will win. However, if the FMLN acknowledges these questions, it is going to engage in a conversation completely on ARENA's terms, and that's gotta be something that makes Rodrigo Avila smile these days.