Ecuador Presidential Election Exit Polls Suggest Leftist, Conservative Neck-and-Neck

April 2, 2017 Updated: April 2, 2017
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QUITO—A leftist ally of President Rafael Correa and a former banker were neck and neck in Ecuador’s presidential election on Sunday, with two exit polls projecting different winners.

Final results could take days, the electoral council has warned, in a race that could extend a decade of leftist rule or usher in more business-friendly policies in the oil-rich Andean country.

Conservative challenger Guillermo Lasso had 53.02 percent of votes versus 46.98 percent for government-backed Lenin Moreno, exit poll Cedatos showed on Sunday afternoon.

A separate exit poll by Perfiles de Opinion showed Moreno with 52.2 percent of the vote versus 47.8 percent for Lasso.

Socialist candidate Lenin Moreno casts his vote during the presidential election in Quito, Ecuador on April 2, 2017. (REUTERS/Mariana Bazo)
Socialist candidate Lenin Moreno casts his vote during the presidential election in Quito, Ecuador on April 2, 2017. (REUTERS/Mariana Bazo)

Both candidates were already celebrating.

“Today a new Ecuador is born, the Ecuador of democracy, the Ecuador of freedom,” Lasso told a crowd chanting: “Lasso President!” in his sweltering coastal hometown, Guayaquil.

Moreno told supporters in Quito: “We have a very trustworthy lead,” and urged Ecuadorians to await final results.

Ecuadorean presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso casts his vote during the presidential election in Guayaquil, Ecuador on April 2, 2017. (REUTERS/Henry Romero)
Ecuadorean presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso casts his vote during the presidential election in Guayaquil, Ecuador on April 2, 2017. (REUTERS/Henry Romero)

South American is watching closely to see if Ecuador will follow Argentina, Brazil and Peru in shifting to the right as a commodities boom ended.

Ecuador’s election also has international repercussions, with Lasso vowing to remove WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from Ecuador’s London embassy if he wins on Sunday.