November 11, 2015 / 1:50 PM / 4 years ago

Macri has 8-point lead in Argentina's presidential race: poll

Mauricio Macri, Buenos Aires' City Mayor and presidential candidate for the Cambiemos (Let's Change) alliance, answers question during a news conference in Buenos Aires, November 10, 2015. REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentine presidential candidate Mauricio Macri has a more-than eight-point lead over his ruling party rival with 11 days until the run-off vote, a poll showed on Wednesday, the second survey this week to hand the opposition challenger a margin above six points.

Poliarquia’s survey, published in the La Nacion newspaper, showed center-right Macri drawing 48.7 percent support, while Daniel Scioli trailed with 40.2 percent. It also said 6 percent of voters were undecided.

Macri stunned the ruling Front for Victory party in the Oct. 25 first round with his unexpectedly strong showing. Scioli has scrambled to regain the initiative by courting the 5 million voters of third-place dissident Peronist Sergio Massa with a string of new policy pledges.

However, the survey showed three of every five of Massa’s voters who had decided how to cast their second-round ballot on Nov. 22 would vote for Macri.

The pro-business mayor of Buenos Aires city, Macri has campaigned on a platform to open up Latin America’s No. 3 economy to tackle low foreign currency reserves and high inflation.

Scioli advocates more-gradual steps to dismantle a raft of protectionist policies imposed by the outgoing leader, Cristina Fernandez, and says Macri’s pro-market reforms would usher in a new economic crisis.

The poll surveyed 800 people in urban areas with populations above 10,000 residents and has a 3.5 percent margin of error.

Reporting by Richard Lough; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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