Poll: Majority Support Pena Nieto Energy Reforms, but Fears over Privatization Suggest Hurdles Remain
Sep 20, 2013, 12:00 ET
AUSTIN, Texas and MEXICO CITY, Sept. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The first national survey to take an in-depth look at Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto's sweeping energy reform plan shows that a majority of the country's residents support its adoption, with 53% of Mexicans currently favoring the reforms and 38% opposed.
The national telephone survey of 1000 Mexican adults, conducted between Sept. 7 and 9, was designed and commissioned by Vianovo to assess the political landscape and gauge views about new energy reforms proposed by the president.
"President Peña Nieto remains popular with the Mexican public, and that favorability is translating into early support for his energy proposal," said James Taylor, Founding Partner at Vianovo. "While the poll shows Mexicans are concerned about anything that sounds like privatization, the president is clearly starting this campaign from a position of strength."
While Mexico has been embroiled in a national debate over education reform for months, the poll showed that Mexicans are just beginning to pay attention to energy reforms, with only 51% of respondents saying they had seen, read or heard anything about the President's plan since he announced it in late August.
When asked about specific proposals included in Peña Nieto's plan, Mexicans expressed strong support for allowing national oil company Pemex to retain more of its income for investment and giving Pemex more operational independence from the government, while maintaining it as a state company. But three other proposals – all of which allow private companies to partner or compete with Pemex and state electricity company, CFE – faced opposition.
The poll also tested arguments in support of energy reform, and found that the most compelling arguments revolve around the economic benefits the president has promised, through increased jobs and lower consumer energy prices. Another persuasive set of messages focus on Pemex and competition – stressing that it will not be privatized, but that the nation, not the government, owns the natural resources, and that private participation is needed to break the Pemex monopoly and grow oil revenues for the benefit of the Mexican people.
"Our research shows that the Mexican people see PEMEX as a beloved – but troubled – family member that needs help to develop the nation's untapped oil and gas resources," said Vianovo Partner Mike Shannon. "Our survey suggests that reform supporters can overcome opposition charges of privatization and win the public debate."
For access to a memo analyzing the poll: LINK
For access to the entire poll results: LINK
Vianovo is a boutique strategy consultancy that specializes in high-stakes brand, policy and crisis issues. Vianovo helps companies and causes position their brands, move public opinion, win advocacy battles and access new markets. The firm has offices in Austin, Dallas, Washington DC and Mexico City. For more information, visit Vianovo.com.
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