Shock Election Results in Argentina with Libertarian Javier Milei as Most Voted Candidate

With more than 94% of the votes counted, the Libertarian candidate was on top with 30.20% of the votes. Juntos por el Cambio was in second with 28.25%, and Unión por la Patria third with 27.15%

Photo: Anita Pouchard Serra/Bloomberg
August 14, 2023 | 12:04 AM

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Buenos Aires — Javier Milei has had his breakthrough in Argentina. The La Libertad Avanza candidate has emerged as the most voted candidate in the Primary, Open, Simultaneous, and Mandatory Elections (PASO). With more than 94% of the votes counted, the libertarian had 30.20% of the votes, while Juntos por el Cambio (Together for Change) ranked second with 28.25%. The ruling party, Unión por la Patria, for the moment, stands in third place with 27.15%.

Within Juntos por el Cambio, an opposition coalition cofounded by Mauricio Macri in 2015, Patricia Bullrich prevailed over Horacio Rodríguez Larreta with 16.75% of the votes, almost six percentage points ahead of the Buenos Aires City mayor (11.12%). Minutes before entering the joint headquarters of Juntos por el Cambio, Bullrich had anticipated her win by stating to the press that Rodríguez Larreta had called her to recognize his defeat.

Primaries in Argentina: With more than 94% of votes counted, Javier Milei was on top.dfd
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Within Unión por la Patria, as expected, Sergio Massa defeated Juan Grabois. The Argentine Economy Minister mustered 21.06% of the votes, while the social leader was at 5.75%. The main surprise was that the ruling party came third at the national level.

In the election for the Buenos Aires City mayor’s office, Jorge Macri came out on top of Martín Lousteau within Juntos por el Cambio’s primary. Together, they accumulated 55% of the vote, well above the 22% mustered by Unión por la Patria’s Leandro Santoro.


In the Province of Buenos Aires, Axel Kicillof prevailed with 36.38% of the votes, while Néstor Grindetti and Diego Santilli were neck and neck in the JxC internal race. Together, they accumulated 32.94%. Carolina Píparo, from La Libertad Avanza, obtained 23.78%.

Argentina Primaries 2023: Sergio Massa’s Unión por la Patria Finishes Third

Looking ahead to October 22

According to Gabriel Puricelli, political and international analyst at the Laboratorio de Políticas Públicas, the outcome of this primary election has “brutally disrupted the political system,” making predictions ahead of October “enormously” challenging.

Nevertheless, he considered: “Today, Juntos lost the leadership of the opposition, and that, combined with the divisions it displayed during the campaign, could cost it votes in October. The reaction to Milei’s surprise could add votes to Massa, especially if Unión por la Patria finishes second.” However, the analyst noted that “Massa has to fight a battle day by day against the flailing economy, with all the odds stacked against him.”