Bachelet holding onto lead in Chile presidential election: poll

SANTIAGO Thu Nov 7, 2013 2:49pm EST

Chilean presidential candidate Michelle Bachelet of the ''Nueva Mayoria'' (New Majority) coalition of political parties takes part in a campaign event in Valparaiso city, about 121 km (75 miles) northwest of Santiago, October 31, 2013. REUTERS/Eliseo Fernandez

Chilean presidential candidate Michelle Bachelet of the ''Nueva Mayoria'' (New Majority) coalition of political parties takes part in a campaign event in Valparaiso city, about 121 km (75 miles) northwest of Santiago, October 31, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Eliseo Fernandez

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SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Former President Michelle Bachelet is holding onto her substantial lead before Chile's presidential election on November 17, an IPSOS poll showed on Thursday.

Center-left favorite Bachelet was supported by 32 percent of likely voters, with undecideds included, compared to 20 percent for second-placed Evelyn Matthei, the candidate for the right-wing incumbent coalition.

Third-placed independent Franco Parisi had 14 percent, with six other candidates scoring 11 percent or less, according to the poll.

In the case of Bachelet and Matthei, that was exactly the same level of support found by the last IPSOS poll on October 22.

The pollsters said there was a high probability that the vote would go to a second round run-off between Bachelet, Chile's first woman president from 2006 to 2010, and Matthei in December.

A different poll last month suggested, however, that Bachelet might garner enough votes to avoid a second round.

IPSOS polled 2,000 people, including 1,071 likely voters, between October 19 and November 5, with a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

(Reporting by Rosalba O'Brien; Editing by Grant McCool)

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