BUENOS AIRES, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- Argentina's presidential election is headed to a runoff after candidates failed to earn a required majority of votes in national elections.
Mauricio Macri, mayor of Buenos Aires, received 34.5 percent of the votes, compared to 36.7 percent for former vice president Daniel Scioli, regarded as the front-runner. Scioli is supported by outgoing President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.
Sergio Massa, a former ally of Kirchner and now an opposition member, received 21.3 percent. Most observers expected Scioli to dominate the election.
Since no candidate won the required 45 percent, a runoff election for the first time in Argentina will be held Nov. 22.
Continuity of the administration of Kirchner, constitutionally barred from running after eight years in office, has been the main thrust of Scioli's campaign, although he attempted to break from her divisive political style.
"More moderation is expected as the Kirchner era comes to a close. There's an enormous desire in society for less polarization," said Mariel Fornoni, of the polling company Management and Fit.
Macri ran to the right of the other candidates, but observers noted little difference between candidates' platforms and campaign styles. The toned-down approach was appreciated by voters accustomed to Kirchner's more abrasive methods.
The runoff is expected to center on Argentina's support for the leftist "Kircherismo" style against factions aligned with Macri and his "Peronist" leanings, and whether voters will abandon Massa to side with Macri.