Humala extends lead in Peru presidential race

LIMA (Reuters) – Left-wing nationalist Ollanta Humala has extended his lead in Peru’s presidential race and former Prime Minister Pedro Pablo Kuczynski may now be in second place, polls showed on Friday before the April 10 vote.

Humala gained nearly 10 points to 24.3 percent in a poll by Lima’s Catholic University and he is now more than 5 points ahead of his nearest rival.

Humala’s rise has unnerved financial markets, though analysts say he has moderated many of his views and would likely lose a June 5 runoff that would be held if no candidate wins more than half the votes in this month’s election.

Trailing Humala were former president Alejandro Toledo, at 18.8 percent, and lawmaker Keiko Fujimori, at 18.4 percent.

They were ahead of former Prime Minister Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, at 16.8 percent, and former Lima Mayor Luis Castaneda, at 12 percent.

The margin of error in the poll of 1,800 people conducted between March 26 and 29 was 2.7 points.

Meanwhile, in a poll by local survey firm Datum, Humala gained about 4 percentage points to 21.4 percent. Former Wall Street banker Kuczynski held steady at 17.5 percent and is now in second place after Toledo slipped about two percentage points. Toledo was at 17.4 percent and Fujimori at 16.4 percent. Castaneda was at 12.6 percent.

The Datum poll surveyed 1,211 people between March 26 and 29 and has a margin of error of 2.8 points.

(Editing by Vicki Allen)

Humala extends lead in Peru presidential race