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Mavroyiannis pulls ahead of Neophytou in second place battle

cybc new

Akel-backed independent candidate Andreas Mavroyiannis on Sunday pulled ahead for second place in round two of presidential elections next week, as Nikos Christodoulides remained the favourite with 76 per cent of the vote counted.

Christodoulides was on 31.66 per cent, Mavroyiannis was on 29.46 per cent and Averof Neophytou on 26.26 per cent.

Earlier, CyBC’s exit poll showed that  Christodoulides was expected to get 30.5-33.5 per cent of the vote with a neck and neck tie for second place between Mavroyiannis and Neophytou – both polling at 26.5-29.5 per cent.

The margin of error for the top three candidates was estimated at 1.5 per cent, with the sample taken with 76 per cent turnout.

In contrast, Christodoulides and Mavroyiannis were the two candidates to get into the second round of the presidential elections based on the exit polls from Alpha, Antenna, Omega and Sigma.

The state broadcaster’s exit poll is largely in line with the polls taken leading up to the election which showed Christodoulides in the lead and a very close race for second place.

The first poll of the campaign sent shockwaves throughout the political scene, the significance of which is hard to overstate. Sigma set the stage when its May 19 poll found that 37 per cent of respondents would have voted for Christodoulides if elections were held on that day. Neophytou trailed at 19 per cent and Mavroyiannis at 14 per cent.

The narrowest gap between the first and second candidates in the polls came just over a week prior to the elections at four per cent. That came from CyBC’s final poll on January 27. It polled Christodoulides at 26.5 per cent, followed by Neophytou at 22.5 per cent and Mavroyiannis at 21 per cent.

Notably, however, respondents stated that they thought Neophytou was most likely to win (39 per cent) – compared to Christodoulides’ 30 per cent.

That soon flipped firmly in Christodoulides’ favour to 36 per cent thinking he will win, when Alpha released its July poll. In that report, Neophytou was second at 29 per cent and Mavroyiannis at just seven per cent.

As to whom people would vote for, the poll – conducted between June 23 and June 28 – found that 33.1 per cent favoured Christodoulides, with Mavroyiannis second at 12.5 per cent and Neophytou third with 11.9 per cent.

The lowest Christodoulides ever polled was at 25.4 per cent, according to Noverna and published by Politis on January 22. In that poll, Neophytou came in second at 20.2 per cent and Mavroyiannis third with 18.6 per cent.

But the widest gulf recorded came from Alpha’s August 9 poll which showed a chasm of 24.7 per cent between Christodoulides (36.7 per cent) and Neophytou (12 per cent), with Mavroyiannis a breath behind him at 11.9 per cent.

The narrowest gap between the first and second candidates in the polls came just over a week prior to the elections at four per cent. That came from CyBC’s final poll on January 27. It polled Christodoulides at 26.5 per cent, followed by Neophytou at 22.5 per cent and Mavroyiannis at 21 per cent.

Nasios Orinos, an elections analyst, said earlier in the week that according to exit polls in the past, 95 per cent of those who vote for a candidate in the first round will then stay with that candidate in the second round – if they make it.

“So, the candidates going into the second round are aware that they’ve got those with them who already backed them.

“Where the decisions are to be made is mostly amongst those whose candidate didn’t make it past the first round – so the second round is not a ‘new election’, we’re not starting from zero,” he explained.

There has been talk of tactical voting and whether some voters may seek to get a ‘weaker’ opponent through to the second round and then switch to their preferred candidate.

The thinking goes that perhaps some Christodoulides voters are confident enough that he will get through to the second round anyway, so they may vote for Mavroyiannis to weaken Neophytou’s chances – turning the second round into an “us versus Akel” campaign.

But polls leading up to Sunday’s election showed a significant narrowing of the gap between the top three, likely leaving little room for such maneuvering.

 

alpha exit poll
Alpha exit poll

 

antenna exit poll
Antenna exit poll

 

 

 

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