The return of democracy in 1983 only served to confirm that the middle classes
continued leaning toward non- Peronist options, this time coming together
en masse for the Radical Civic Union (ucr).1 If in 1973 the middle classes had
divided their vote between the ucr and other centrist and center- right politi-
cal forces, ten years later they tended to concentrate their votes in their tra-
ditional party, which they saw triumph in an election with no proscriptions
for the first time.2 A small percentage of the middle classes voted for the Left,
which obtained a total of 4 percent of votes,3 and another minority voted for
the Peronist candidate. The bulk of these middle classes constituted, with-
out a doubt, the majority of the 50 percent (52 percent if blank votes are not
counted) that Alfonsín obtained.4 In June 1982, an electoral poll conducted
by ipsa established that Peronism had greatest support in the lower social
sectors, and Radicalism in the middle and high social sectors. A year later, the
same company stated that ucr support continued to come from middle and
high social sectors, and Peronist adherents from the “lower” social sectors.5
Another study in 1983 and 1984 established that, both in Capital Federal and
in La Matanza county in the province of Buenos Aires, the further one rose
on the social ladder, the greater the vote was for the ucr and the less it was
for Peronism.6 In both districts, a significant proportion of unskilled workers
had voted for Peronism, and a large majority of professionals for Radicalism.7
In summary, the middle classes confirmed their non- Peronist electoral
preference in 1983, deepening their position with respect to the one they
had held ten years before. In terms of the ideological orientation of Alfonsín
voters, the majority came from the traditional supporters of Radicalism
and those that had supported center- right options ten years before.8 With
Alfonsín the middle class came to power ideologically faithful to itself, with-
out essential changes with respect to where they had stood a decade earlier.
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