June 2, 2015 / 11:11 PM / 3 years ago

Pena Nieto's ruling PRI in the lead ahead of Mexico mid-terms: poll

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) is in the lead ahead of Sunday’s mid-term elections, a poll released on Tuesday shows, potentially returning President Enrique Pena Nieto his razor-thin lower house majority.

Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto gestures during an investment announcement from brewer Grupo Modelo in Merida in Yucatan state, at Los Pinos Presidential house in Mexico City, May 29, 2015. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

On Sunday, Pena Nieto faces his first national vote since winning the presidency in 2012. The lower house, nine governorships and various state legislatures are up for grabs.

The new poll, released on Tuesday by pollster Consulta Mitofsky, showed that 32 percent of those surveyed would vote for Pena Nieto’s centrist PRI, eight points ahead of the center-right National Action Party.

The leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) had 17 percent, while its recently formed offshoot Morena, led by ex-presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, was on 10 percent, the poll found.

Previous surveys have also shown the PRI ahead.

Pena Nieto has wielded his one-seat lower house majority, held in alliance with smaller parties, to pass a batch of major reforms, but in recent months he has been hammered by graft allegations and high-profile cases of extreme violence.

The poll surveyed 1,000 people across the country and has a margin of error of 3.1 percent.

Reporting by Max De Haldevang; Editing by Gabriel Stargardter and Leslie Adler

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