[12:45 AM] At this hour, former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner still hasn’t addressed the audience at the Unidad Ciudadana campaign headquarters. While the difference between her and Esteban Bullrich from Cambiemos (35,09 percent for Bullrich, 33,27 percent for Fernández de Kirchner) has narrowed significantly, there is still a 28 percent of the votes in the Buenos Aires province still haven’t been counted. Since the Kirchnerite camp remains hopeful that the result could change and end up with Cristina on top, it appears the former President, who is vying for a senate seat, is allegedly getting ready for a long night and will only address the anxious crowd once the final result is clear.

Our coverage ends now but we will have more updated information tomorrow.


[11:50 PM] President Mauricio Macri was the last one to address a frantic crowd at the Cambiemos coalition campaign headquarters in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Palermo. After what seems to have been a great performance for Cambiemos He started by highlighting all of his party’s victories in the country, with a special mention to the provinces of Santa Cruz, San Luis, Córdoba and Mendoza, in which the coalition was responsible for an unexpected win. “Change is now more alive than ever.”

“The people of San Luis have brought change, just like the people of Santa Cruz. We welcome them to it. We now have a degree of trust that we hope can be extended to the entire country,” he added.

Macri then mentioned some of his administration’s most unpopular decisions, such as last year’s substantial increase in utility bills: “In each and every difficult decisions I had to make, I was always thinking of you. I considered alternatives, trying to find an alternative. In the end, I only made these decisions when I was fully convinced,” he argued.

“The change has begun. The change is now more alive than ever and it doesn’t belong to a government, but of all of Argentina.”

The President went on to address the opposition, especially his predecessor, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. “We have recovered the ability to dream. Let’s not listen to the speeches that want to instill fear, that want to make us give up,” he finished.


[11:30 PM] 1Pais senatorial candidate in the Buenos Aires province, Sergio Massa, congratulated the Cambiemos coalition for being the most voted political party in Argentina’s largest electoral district. Being the third most voted candidate in the province, Massa still took the time to criticize the Macri administration and said “many people are angry and disappointed.” While Esteban Bullrich remains on top with 36 percent of the votes, the former presidential candidate said “over 65 percent of the people living in the province have voted against the government.”

He also referred to former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (albeit without naming her directly) and said that this election “was also a message for those from the past, since people don’t want corruption to be back in our present.”


[11:05 PM] From the Cambiemos campaign headquarters in Palermo, emboldened candidates in the Buenos Aires Province were addressing the crowd and celebrating what seems to be a great election for President Mauricio Macri’s party and their coalition. The first pre-candidate for deputy in the largest electoral district in the country, Graciela Ocaña was the first to address the crowd. After thanking voters, she made a special mention to the province’s governor and most visible face of the campaign, María Eugenia Vidal. “This has been a very important day, it’s a first step towards October [when the midterm elections are going to take place]. I want to tell everyone that tomorrow we’ll all be working for each and every one of you, like we have been doing until now,” she said.

The first candidate for senator in the Buenos Aires province, Esteban Bullrich, was next. This time, the gaffe-prone politician managed to speak without saying something he would eventually regret. He also began by thanking Macri and Vidal, but especially “each and every one of the BA Province residents who opened the door of their houses to me, but who also opened their hearts.” He then moved the focus of his speech to an area he feels much more comfortable with: the value of education to solve the Province’s problems.

“From here to October, we will keep listening to you, we will look you in the eye. We will walk the province for you,” he added, before leaving the stage to Vidal.

Same as her predecessors, Vidal said that “this is a special night for all Argentines.” “You went to the polls to express what you think and feel about this transformation we are conducting in the Province,” she began.

Faithful to her style, Vidal then thanked “all the love that you gave us.” “Words are not enough, thank you from the bottom of my heart,” she added.

Vidal especially addressed “those who didn’t vote for us.”

“To them, I want to say that we also listened to you. We know you expected the situation to improve much quicker. We know you had a rough year, but just like we’ve been doing until now, we will continue to walk the province’s 135 districts, we will keep doing so. For us correcting mistakes is not a weakness, it’s a strength,” she said.

“If you still don’t believe, if you have any doubts… Let’s not miss the chance to implement change from the bottom up. We have already began creating change. That’s why we are all here tonight. We won’t give up, ever,” she expressed.

“Keep supporting us, we are only 19 months in, don’t leave us alone,” finished Vidal, cuing another rain of confetti, this time joined by balloons.


[10:56 PM]

BUENOS AIRES PROVINCE – SENATE RACE

Esteban Bullrich (Cambiemos): 36,78%

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (Unidad Ciudadana): 31,62%

Segio Massa (1Pais): 15,79%

Florencio Randazzo (Frente Justicialista): 5,92%

Votes Tallied: 23,35%


[10:20 PM]

BUENOS AIRES PROVINCE – SENATE RACE

Esteban Bullrich (Cambiemos): 37,09%

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (Unidad Ciudadana): 31,38%

Segio Massa (1Pais): 15,85%

Florencio Randazzo (Frente Justicialista): 5,88%

Votes Tallied: 12,94%

BUENOS AIRES CITY – LOWER HOUSE RACE

Elisa Carrio (Vamos Juntos): 48,15%

Daniel Filmus (Unidad Ciudadana): 21,51%

Martín Lousteau (Evolución): 13,30%

Matías Tombolini (1Pais): 4,09%

Votes Tallied: 41,23%


[9:50 PM] The first official results must have had candidates in the Cambiemos coalition so excited that they couldn’t contain themselves and took to the stage 20 minutes before expected. And understandably so. Elisa Carrió, the Vamos Juntos pre-candidate for Congress in the Buenos Aires City won by an absolute landslide: She got 48 percent of the votes, 26 and a half points more than the amount the three candidates of Unidad Porteña, Daniel Filmus, Guillermo Moreno and Itai Hagman, got altogether.

Buenos Aires City Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta addressed the euphoric crowd first, highlighting that “every Cambiemos deputy that gets into the Lower House is going to be able to help the President” and implement the administration’s policies. He later addressed those who chose not to vote for Cambiemos and vowed to “take to the streets to talk to [them], because we know we can improve these results.”

“We want a country where dialogue prevails, without aggression, violence. A country with a government that speaks the truth, even when it’s harsh. But we all agree on one thing: we don’t want to go to the past,” he finished, as his supporters celebrated.

Larreta then passed the mic to Carrió, indubitably the star of the night. Visibly moved, Carrió began with a simple joke, faithful to her style: “I’m quite surprised, you know I’m used to losing,” she said, in reference to the three previous presidential elections, in which she ran and lost by an important margin. She went on to say that “we have fought so much throughout our lives… sometimes it looked like it was all for nothing.”

“But today I thank the people of the City, of the nation… for voting us. We can say that the republic has been strengthened throughout the country. The possibility of living in a country with truth, law, justice and peace. We are winning that thanks to you.” “You are changing the nation,” finished Carrió, as confetti began to fall from the ceiling.


 

[9:37 PM] Early results are already coming in.

BUENOS AIRES PROVINCE – SENATE RACE

Esteban Bullrich (Cambiemos): 36,89%

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (Unidad Ciudadana): 31,72%

Segio Massa (1Pais): 15,86%

Florencio Randazzo (Frente Justicialista): 5,77%

Votes Tallied: 5,21%

BUENOS AIRES CITY – LOWER HOUSE RACE

Elisa Carrio (Vamos Juntos): 48,15%

Daniel Filmus (Unidad Ciudadana): 21,51%

Martín Lousteau (Evolución): 13,30%

Matías Tombolini (1Pais): 4,09%

Votes Tallied: 41,23%


[8:51 PM] Ten minutes before the preliminary results are announced, Vice-President Gabriela Michetti took the stage at the Cambiemos’ campaign headquarters in Costa Salguero, in Palermo. Joined by representatives of the Civic Coalition and the Radical Party (UCR) — the other two parties that, besides the PRO, make up the Cambiemos alliance — an optimist Michetti said that “Argentines want a country that allows all of us to have a better quality of life and better opportunities, and that’s what we are doing.”

After briefly addressing the audience, she chanted “yes we can” with her supporters. Buenos Aires City Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta and the party’s first candidate for Deputy in the City, Elisa “Lilita” Carrió are the next leaders set to take the stage, at 9:30 PM.


[8:50 PM] Political pundits and journalists have began reporting unofficial results on social media, assuring that Cambiemos has won the following electoral districts: Buenos Aires City, Mendoza, Córdoba, Santa Fe, Santa Cruz and Jujuy. The Buenos Aires Province is still “too close to call.”


[8:20 PM] As we get close the first preliminary results, expected to be announced after 9 pm, we slowly starting to hear the first unofficial results. So far the most relevant news come from the province of Córdoba, the country’s third largest electoral district, which represents 9 percent of Argentina’s electorate. Representatives of the Peronist Unión por Córdoba party, led by Current governor Juan Schiaretti, admitted a defeat “by at least five points” against Cambiemos. The results come as a joyful surprise for Mauricio Macri’s coalition, as the party expected its candidate, Héctor Baldassi, to win or lose by a close margin.

Córdoba is a highly important electoral stronghold and holds a symbolic meaning for Cambiemos: President Mauricio Macri got 71.5 percent of the votes in the 2015 presidential runoff, which turned out to be a key result that tipped the scale in his favor.


[6:02 PM] Cabinet Chief Marcos Peña was the first representative of a major party to speak publicly after polls closed. In a press conference held at 6 PM sharp, he began by echoing the words of Interior Minister Rogelio Frigerio this evening, who said “it was a very calm day, with a large percentage of the population heading to the polls.”

Peña also said that the Cambiemos coalition had “a very good performance” throughout the country. Although he avoided speaking about specific figures — he said they would only do so after preliminary results were published at 9 PM — he said the party’s representatives were “very grateful and happy.” “We remain hopeful about the results. What happened gives us a lot of strength for what’s coming in the future,” he added.


[6 PM] The polls have closed in Argentina and pre-candidates from all major political parties are already in their campaign bunkers waiting for the first preliminary results to be announced after 9pm as millions of ballots are counted around the country.

Today’s election was atypical and was largely seen as a first round of Argentina’s midterm elections, scheduled to take place on October 22. The primary elections were created during the Fernández de Kirchner administration in an effort to pick candidates through the popular vote, not by party leaders.

However, this time most pre-candidates in all major political parties ran unopposed, effectively defeating the goal of the election. So the most interesting aspect of this election is not who will be selected candidate tonight but what percentage of the vote each candidate will obtain, a preview of things to come once the actual midterms are held.

Tonight’s results will also help both the government and the opposition understand where they stand with respect to the electorate’s support.


On the 13th of August 2017 Argentines went to the polls to decide who should lead their respective parties in the run up to the October Elections.

This is only the second time that Argentines have voted in a primary election as this new system was introduced by the Fernández de Kirchner administration in 2009. Today’s voter turnout was around 74 percent, and the first results are expected around 9:00 pm.