The stakes are high in Chile’s Dec. 19 runoff presidential election pitting the free-market former Congressman
José Antonio Kast
against socialist Congressman Gabriel Boric.
The country has been trending left for years. But Mr. Kast’s surprise first-place finish in the election’s first round—with 28% of the vote—and the center-right’s strong showing in legislative elections suggests that Chileans are reconsidering national suicide.
The 35-year-old Mr. Boric, who won 25.7% in the first round, had a substantial lead in second-round polls up to Dec. 4—the last day they could be released. But the high number of undecided voters means that the 55-year-old Mr. Kast could still prevail.
If the vote goes left, Chileans can expect policy geared toward greater redistribution of the existing wealth-and-income pie—higher taxes, nationalization of pensions, populism, etc. If the vote…