Peru pollster puts socialist Castillo ahead going into June run-off

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 Peruvian socialist Pedro Castillo is in pole position to win the presidency in a second round ballot set for June, according to a survey by pollster Ipsos Peru on Sunday that showed him garnering 42% against 31% for right-wing rival Keiko Fujimori.

It was the first opinion poll since the first round of the election in April, when the socialist candidate’s suprise win sent shudders through markets in the world´s second biggest copper producer.

Castillo, a previously little-known union leader and teacher who rode a horse to vote in the first round elections on April 11, has said he plans to rewrite the Constitution and give the state more control over some industries, including the sprawling mining sector.

Fujimori, 45, advocates a free market economic model to bolster growth and attract new business.

Already suffering from a battered economy and an ailing political system, Peruvians are on edge ahead of the run-off on June 6 between two candidates from different ends of the political spectrum.

While often politically turbulent, Peru has been one of the resilient markets in Latin America in recent years, attracting international money managers into its bonds and sol currency .

Of the 1,204 people polled by Ipsos Peru between April 15 and 16, 16% said they would not vote for either candidate, and 11% had yet to decide. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 2.8%.

Photo: People at the office of Peru’s presidential candidate Pedro Castillo in the district of Tacabamba, Cajamarca, Peru. EPA-EFE/Jorge Lopez

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