Mendoza, Argentina witnessed a historic election. The left obtained 17% of the votes, achieving the best results for the left in an election for an executive position since 1983, leaving the Peronist candidate in third place. These results propel Nicolas del Caño, member of the Socialist Workers’ Party (PTS) in the FIT as the presidential candidate for the front.
In this election, the FIT solidifies its position as an alternative to the bosses parties at a national level. The FIT won two positions in the legislature of Neuquen province, with Raul Godoy, member of the PTS and worker at FASINPAT (the worker run factory formerly known as Zanon) and the school teacher Patricia Jure from the PO. In the city of Buenos Aires, Myriam Bregman also had a very successful campaign for city major. It is expected that Noelia Barbeito of the PTS - FIT for the Mendoza provincial government will also have a good election, surpassing the 7% she obtained during the first round of elections for the governor’s race in that province.
In the Santa Fe province, the FIT ran Octavio Crivaro from the PTS as a candidate, who had to fight an attempt at electoral fraud and was able to continue on to the second round of elections.
The conclusion drawn from the elections in the cities of Buenos Aires and Mendoza is that the government cannot find a way around the left growing during elections. If they propose a Kirchnerist candidate, closer to the president, they lose votes. If they present a "moderate" candidate closer to Scioli, the other wing of Peronism, they are unable to motive their own Kirchnerist base. During the first round of elections, they were able to maintain their position but in the second round or general elections they lost terrain when faced with a candidate with a clear program.
The crucial issue is the weakness that the national government collation is starting to show. So far, the unity within the Peronist party has been sustained by force by the bonapartist leadership of Cristina Fernandez, who now can’t be reelected again as president as her party passes through a difficult transition in its role in the country’s political landscape.
The FIT has consolidated its position as a political force that can attract votes from many of those have a progressive view in many issues but that previously supported the Kirchnerism and who genuinely believed in its promises of change.
After the 2001 crisis, in order to pacify the country, Kirchnerism had to make a number of promises that it was unable to fulfill, especially when the economic conditions that had allowed the government to make some concessions to the people are now changing, limiting its capacity to contain the discontent of the masses.
Thus, workers and the youth in Mendoza see in the FIT candidates a representation with a class identity from the left. Peronism is going through a crisis in which it is unable to develop a new identity and influence new generations.
The success of Nicolas del Caño is closely related to the FIT’s development at a national level. His potential as a strong candidate for the FIT was shown again during these elections. The election results had national repercussions due to surpassing peronism in the fifth-largest electoral district in the country. This is not something seen everyday and shows how he has what it takes to become the presidential candidate of the left and the workers.