Here’s what you need to know about the historic elections in Mexico

On June 2, Mexicans head to the polls to elect their next president and local officials that will serve from 2024-2030

June 01, 2024 by Zoe Alexandra
The Zocalo in Mexico City, full for the campaign closing. Photo: MORENA

98.3 million people are eligible to vote in Mexico’s general elections on June 2. They will be voting for 20,708 local and federal officials, including all members of the Chamber of Deputies, the Senate, and the president of the Republic. The official campaigning ended on Wednesday May 29, leaving the nearly 100 million voters time to make their final deliberations to cast their ballot on Sunday. Those elected will serve a six-year term from 2024-2030.

The frontrunners for the presidential race are Claudia Sheinbaum of the left-wing “Let’s Continue Making History” Coalition, Xóchitl Gálvez of the right-wing “Force and Heart for Mexico” Coalition, and Jorge Álvarez Máynez of the Citizens’ Movement party. With Máynez scoring around 12% and under in all major polls, it is likely that whatever happens on Sunday, Mexico will have its first woman president.

Let’s take a look at the candidates.

Claudia Sheinbaum

Claudia Sheinbaum, who has been scoring around 50% and above in all major opinion polls, is one of the founders of the Movement for National Regeneration (MORENA) and served as the head of government of Mexico City from 2018 to 2023 (when she officially began her campaign). The 61-year-old scientist has more than 20 years of experience in public office and began her activism as a student at Mexico’s world-renowned public university, the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

She took office in 2018 as head of government in Mexico City as her colleague and party leader Andrés Manuel López Obrador took office as president of the Republic and inaugurated the “Fourth Transformation” project on a national level. The 4T, as it’s called, is the proposal to do away with the corrupt regime of injustice and privileges for the ruling elites which had characterized the previous governments, and instead rule for the majorities through what AMLO called “Mexican Humanism”. AMLO implemented a slew of anti-neoliberal and pro-people policies such as increasing the minimum wage, investing in public works and transportation projects across national territory, nationalizing lithium and strengthening national energy production, and aggressively combating corruption and collusion with organized crime. AMLO will end his time in office with a record high 80% approval rating, according to Gallup Polls.

Read more: Mexico is charting its own path towards energy sovereignty

During her tenure as head of government in Mexico City, Sheinbaum sought to implement 4T policies on a local level, and focused on improving the quality of life for the 20 million inhabitants of one of the world’s largest cities (including the metropolitan area). Some of these policies included improving transportation, instituting public policies to promote women’s development and safety within the city, and improving access to basic rights and necessities such as education, energy, and housing. The scientist also innovated different renewable energy and waste projects in the city.

In an exclusive interview with Peoples Dispatch and BreakThrough News in April 2023, she spoke about the significance of the Fourth Transformation, “..states have to give the rights to the people. What do we think is a right? Education, health, a home, pension for all the elders. We also believe in strategic areas of the economy such as energy. The state has to be part of this, especially electricity, oil and mainly and now lithium…it’s important and it’s going to be very important in the future…You cannot have private investment measured only by GDP or international investment. You have to measure investment, public and private, in wealth for the people. And that’s the big difference with neoliberalism that believed that everything was going to be solved by the market.”

WATCH | Interview with Mexico’s leading presidential contender Dr. Claudia Sheinbaum

During her campaign launch on March 1, she presented the 100 points of her Nation Project, which will be the roadmap of her administration if elected and deal with key areas of the economy and society such as pensions, transportation, infrastructure development, minimum wage, energy production, and more.

At the launch, Sheinbaum had said that in these elections there are only two paths: “One where the transformation continues and the other, the one that wants corruption and neoliberalism to return.” She highlighted that more than five years after starting the process of the Fourth Transformation, great progress has been made: the minimum wage was doubled (and tripled in the border region with the United States), roads, refineries, airports, trains, and power plants were built. solar, new school textbooks were launched, and the country has not gone into debt.

Xóchitl Gálvez

Xóchitl Gálvez Ruíz is running for the Force and Heart for Mexico Coalition and currently polling at around 30%. The business woman was mayor of Miguel Hidalgo from 2015-2018, and was Senator for PAN from 2018 to 2023.

Her coalition is composed of former ruling parties of PAN and PRI which for decades held power in Mexico and were rivals. Representing Mexico’s traditional ruling elites, Gálvez has been unable to galvanize mass support. Rather than developing her political platform and proposals, Gálvez has focused most of her energy on attacking her rival Sheinbaum and the MORENA party, calling Sheinbaum the “candidate of lies” and “a cold woman”. Despite representing the parties and leaders that oversaw the worst episodes of corruption, fraud, and human rights violations in the country, she has attempted to sling those accusations right back at Sheinbaum and AMLO.

Read more: Conviction of former Mexican security chief for taking bribes from drug cartels is “just the tip of the iceberg”

Gálvez has received help from an unlikely place, mainstream liberal US media, who have echoed her accusations that AMLO and MORENA are authoritarian, anti-democracy, and have links to the drug trade.

In one public appearance, Gálvez made a poorly calculated jab at Sheinbaum, who previously stated that her apartment was rented, saying, “if at the age of 60 you have not been able to acquire property, you are pretty pathetic.” The comment angered millions of working-class Mexicans who have also been unable to achieve economic stability and buy a house.

Due to her inability to overcome 33% in the opinion polls, Gálvez appears to be preparing to launch accusations of electoral fraud. José Luis Granados Ceja, a journalist based in Mexico City, has been ringing the alarm that the right-wing appears to be creating the conditions for an attempted fraud narrative to be installed.

Jorge Álvarez Máynez

The young candidate for the Citizens’ Movement party has been hovering between 10-12% in all major voter opinion polls. The progressive candidate’s main approach has been to condemn “old politics”, largely the PRI-PAN-PRD politics and promise “the new”. In order to reach young voters he has also published catchy songs with music videos.

Some of the key points on his platform are to demilitarize the country, regularize cannabis, increase investment for education to increase scholarships and provide free textbooks, promote feminist policies to combat gender violence. In the economic realm, he calls for an increase in social policies for the poorest and most marginalized like a minimum income, a universal pension for all workers, and unemployment, as well as the advancement of green and renewable energy projects, and an increase in public transportation.

Máynez’s campaign suffered a tragedy on May 23, when a strong storm caused the stage to collapse at one of his campaign events in Nuevo León and nine people were killed.


Preliminary results from the elections will be announced by the National Electoral Institute (INE) from the quick count on the night of Sunday June 2. Whatever happens, Mexico will certainly be making history!