Canning House Mexico 2024 Seminar Series

Five weeks. Five seminars. One complex election.

The Context   The Seminars   The Candidates   Learn more

2024 is an important year in Mexico.

Mark your diary. On Sunday 2 June, Mexico goes to the polls to elect a new President, 128 Senators, 500 members of the Chamber of Deputies, eight Governors, Mexico City's head of government, and thousands of local politicians. In a number of ways, it’s an unprecedented election for Mexico.

June’s vote will see the election of Mexico’s first female president; likely be Mexico’s largest ever election; coincide a US election year for the first time in 12 years; and is the first general election test for the Movimiento Regeneración Nacional (Morena, National Regeneration Movement) as incumbent.

Claudia Sheinbaum, leading in polling, is Morena's candidate. She headed Mexico City's government from 2018 to 2023, during the presidency of Morena leader Andrés Manuel López Obrador, often known as AMLO. Over his term, AMLO has maintained high approval ratings, but cannot stand for re-election - he will leave office on 30 September 2024.

Against Sheinbaum, Xóchitl Gálvez is candidate for the Fuerza y Corazón por México (Strength and Heart for Mexico) coalition. Gálvez was a Senator 2018-2023, mayor of a Mexico City district 2015-2018, and was previously a tech entrepreneur.

The Fuerza coalition includes the Partido Acción Nacional (PAN, National Action Party) and Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI, Institutional Revolution Party) - two parties that dominated Mexican politics for nearly a century, until Morena came to power in 2018 - and the Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD, Democratic Revolution Party).

In a distant third is Jorge Álvarez Máynez, candidate for Movimiento Ciudadana (MC). Replacing Samuel García as candidate only in January, Álvarez' chances of victory are vanishingly slim; but he may help to boost MC's showing in Congress, benefitting its long-term ambitions.

For voters, it's a decision set to span questions of violence and security, equality and economyinstitutions, infrastructure, and more.

Every angle on the election.

Five Thursdays in a row, from 25 April, Canning House held a series of in-person and online seminars, tackling all aspects of Mexico's unprecedented, complex 2024 election. We heard from top academics and analysts, business leaders and experts, and got the inside scoop on the politics behind the headlines.

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Click below to learn more, and catch up on each session.

Meet the candidates.

Claudia Sheinbaum

Claudia Sheinbaum is candidate for Morena. Morena first came to power in 2018, led by its founder and incumbent Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador - commonly known as AMLO. Sheinbaum was Mexico City's head of government from 2018, until her resignation to run for president.

Widely regarded as AMLO's heir apparent, Sheinbaum leads opinion polling by a substantial margin in early 2024.

Sheinbaum has cast herself as a force for continuity, with her "own stamp," pledging to follow "the same principles" as her predecessor - like continued efforts to reduce inequality and poverty, and undertaking major infrastructure projects - while nonetheless asserting that she is "not a copy" of AMLO.

Her style, say analysts, is a more technocratic one than AMLO's; and she is likely to dedicate more attention to Mexico's renewable energy and tech sectors. Prior to politics, notably, Sheinbaum was a climate scientist.

If she wins, Sheinbaum will have to navigate continuing AMLO's so-called Mexican "Fourth Transformation," while attempting to carve out an image distinct from that of her predecessor.

Image: Rodrigo Jardón / Wikimedia CC BY-SA 4.0

Photograph of Claudia Sheinbaum
Photograph of Xóchitl Gálvez

Xóchitl Gálvez

Xóchitl Gálvez, a self-made tech entrepreneur from an Indigenous, working class background, has been considered a business-friendly candidate, keen to open up to more private investment in areas like energy and technology. Her rise in politics is described by some analysts as "meteoric."

Gálvez' campaigning has been unconventional at times. She knocked on the door of AMLO's daily mañanera press conference, and dressed in a dinosaur costume in the Senate, branding a government bill a "Jurassic Plan." A public feud with AMLO seemingly helped to catapult her into wider public consciousness.

She has claimed AMLO's government represents "corruption" and an "inability to govern," criticising its record on issues like violent and organised crime and healthcare.

The electoral hurdle for Gálvez remains upturning the huge popularity and whirring political machine of Morena, with limited time to spare ahead of 2 June's election.

Gálvez' leadership of Fuerza y Corazón por México also presents potential challenges. Its three parties, the PAN, PRI and PRD, represent a broad coalition of distinct political forces, with all facing high disapproval rates among Mexicans. Coordinating their aims will require delicate negotiation - with Gálvez promising a staunch political independence.

Image: EneasMx / Wikimedia CC BY 4.0 DEED

Jorge Álvarez Máynez

Polling in a distant third place, Jorge Álvarez Máynez' is candidate for the centre-left Movimiento Ciudadano (Citizen Movement, MC) party.

Álvarez is a latecomer to Mexico's presidential contest, replacing Samuel García - who left the race to return to governing the northern state of Nuevo León - only in January 2024.

That leaves Álvarez in an unusual position. He is polling at less than 10% on voter intention, and suggested in January that "8 out of 10" Mexicans had never heard of him.

As he put it, though, "our fight is not for the next election." Álvarez could instead inhabit the role of "uncomfortable rival," questioning Mexico's political establishment and, perhaps, setting up future success through appeals to young voters.

Looking to June, Álvarez' candidacy may help to boost MC's drive for seats in Congress, carving out space in a field likely dominated by Morena and the Fuerza coalition parties. Moreover, MC already governs two strategic states in Mexico: Nuevo León and Jalisco - the latter to be contested in June.

For Álvarez, all this contributes to a longer-term vision: to "change the system" in Mexican politics.

Image: EneasMx / Wikimedia CC BY 4.0 DEED

Photograph of Jorge Álvarez Máynez

Still want to learn more?

The Canning House LatAm Outlook comprehensively covers Mexico, along with five other top Latin American economies, across seven chapters: Latin America's place in the world, and its politics, economics, society, risk, environment and commerce in 2024.

In a complex year, the LatAm Outlook includes everything you need to know about Latin America, in one place.

Read it here

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The Mexico 2024 Seminar Series is produced by Susana Berruecos. This page was designed by Freddy Nevison-Andrews.

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