2008 Flag of Chile 2016
Chilean Presidential election, 2012
June 17 and July 15, 2012
Evelyn Matthei Fornet (2) Luciano Cruz-Coke
Candidate Evelyn Matthei Luciano Cruz-Coke
Party PCN PSo
Alliance AD None
Running mate Ignacio Walker Ena von Baer
Percentage 44,1% 26,4%
Carolina Tohá Marco Enriquez-Ominami
Candidate Carolina Tohá Marco Enriquez
Party DP Independent
Alliance FPU None
Running mate Ernesto Velasco Efrén Osorio
Percentage 24,3% 5,2%

The Chilean Presidential election of 2012 was held on Sunday, June 17, 2012, to choose to the new president and vice president of Chile. Based on the two-round system, since none of the candidates secured the absolute majority needed to take the presidency outright, a run-off between the two most-voted candidates - center-right Evelyn Matthei and sorelist Luciano Cruz-Coke - was held on 15 July 2012.

Matthei, who won the runoff with about 53.7% of the vote, succeeded Joaquin Lavin (PCN) on October 5, 2012 and became in the first woman to reach the Presidency in the history of Chile.

Parliamentary elections took place on the same day that the first round.


Chilean politics is dominated by two main coalitions: the center-right Democratic Alliance (Alianza Democratica) composed of the Social Christian Party, National Conservative Party, and the Liberal Party, which govern since the 1990's; and the center-left United Progresive Front (Frente Progresista Unido), composed of the Socialist Workers Party, the People's Democracy and the Radical Social Democratic Party. However, in the last years, another political force has raised behind of the two main coalitions; the Sorelist Party. Despite that exist in the country during the last half-century, traditionally the Sorelism has never represented an significative force in the chilean politics (except briefly during the 1960's under Jorge Prat's leadership), this due specially to the people perception of the international sorelism. But, since the reformist process begun during 2000s, the Sorelist Party has increased his representation in the Congress impressively, from 3 deputies in 2000 to 15 in 2008.

In 2008, the national-conservative Joaquin Lavin won the election defeating to leftist candidate Ricardo Lagos, while, in the parliamentary elections, the Alliance gained the majority in both chambers, reverting the 2004 results, which allowed them to implement the principal points of the Lavin's presidential program. By 2012, the government's approval ratings were near 72% and first polls show that officialist candidate Evelyn Matthei was leading the preferences with over 40%, followed of Tohá with 29% and Cruz-Coke with 24%. In the next months, the difference between the leftist and the sorelist candidate has reduced to only 1 or 2%.


Democratic Alliance Candidate

The Democratic Alliance, the coalition formed in 1998 during Alessandri Besa's second term and that has ruled since that date, began his nomination process during July, 2011. Initially, four politicians manifested his intention to run for the presidential nomination.

  • Evelyn Matthei: (born in Santiago; November 11, 1953) She is the daughter of former General and Defense minister Fernando Matthei. Member of the National Conservative Party. Deputy for Santiago between 1988 and 1996, Senator for Coquimbo between and 1996 and 2006, she also was Minister of Defense in 2006, Minister of Labour in 2008, and Bi-Minister of Finance and Economy from 2009 until 2011.

Party pre-candidates

  • Adolfo Zaldívar: Member of Social Christian Party and current Vice-President. He was the pre-candidate of his party.
  • Andrés Allamand: Member of the National Conservative Party. Current Minister of Defense.
  • Christián Monckeberg: Member of the Liberal Party. Deputy for Las Condes commune, since 2004.

United Progresive Front Candidate

The United Progresive Front, left-wing coalition formed in 2003, begin his nomination process during August, 2011. Despite originally were four the pre-candidates, after three months, two of them (Carmona and Nuñez) withdrawn his candidatures, left only to Toha and Lagos Weber to run for the nomination.

  • Carolina Tohá: (born in Santiago; May 15, 1965) She is daughter of socialist José Tohá, Senator and Minister during the Allende (and Reyes) administration. She enter to Socialist Workers Party in 1984, but resigned five years later and joined to People's Democracy, where she was elected as party president between 2003 and 2006. Elected Deputy for Chillan in 2000 and 2004, she currently is Senator for Concepción since 2008.

Party pre-candidates

  • Ricardo Lagos Weber: Member of the People's Democracy Party. Senator since 2008.
  • Lautaro Carmona: Member of the Socialist Workers Party. Deputy since 2008, and former Mayor of Copiapo during three terms.
  • Ricardo Núñez Muñoz: Member and current President of the Socialist Workers Party. Senator since 1996.

Other Candidates

  • Luciano Cruz-Coke: (Born in Santiago; July 1, 1970) He is son of lawyer and politician Carlos Cruz-Coke Ossa, one of most important leaders of the Sorelism in Chile. Luciano entered in the political arena during the university. He was part of Sorelist Youth, and assuming important student positions. Later, he was chosen as deputy in 1996, and reelected in 2000. He postulate to the Senate in 2004 but was defeated, however was elected as Secretary-General of the PSo in 2005, and was one of the members that lead the reformist process during that date. In 2008, was finally chosen as Senator for Valparaiso. During the Sorelist convention in january, 2012, he was elected to run as presidential candidate.
  • Marco Enriquez Gumucio: (Born in Santiago; June 12, 1973) He is son of Miguel Enriquez, a former leftist political activist. He began his political career when joined to People's Democracy Party Youth in 1992. Later, he was elected as councillors of the Santiago commune in 1998. During 2002, he left the party due to differences with the national directive. In 2004 he ran as independent and was elected as Deputy for Santiago and reelected in 2008. Since his position in the Congress he cement a enough political support from leftist independent groups for begin a presidential campaign for 2012.


First Round

Candidate Party Votes  % Result
1 Carolina Tohá Morales DP (FPU) 24,3% Eliminated
2 Luciano Cruz-Coke PSo 26,4% Runoff
3 Evelyn Matthei Fornet PCN (AD) 44,1% Runoff
4 Marco Enriquez Gumucio Ind. 5,2% Eliminated


Candidate Party Votes  % Result
1 Luciano Cruz-Coke PSo 46,3% Eliminated
2 Evelyn Matthei Fornet PCN (AD) 53,7% Winner

See also