Ecuador Ballot

A ballot in Ecuador. (AP)

Fast Facts about Ecuador's First-Round Presidential Vote

By Jon Orbach

Two former lawmakers, Luisa González and Daniel Noboa, will face each other in the October 15 runoff. AS/COA looks at the facts.

Ecuador’s election has been all about the unexpected. For one thing, it wasn’t supposed to even be taking place now, but a political standoff between the executive and the legislature led President Guillermo Lasso to dissolve both branches of government and move up elections a year and half early. 

And the August 20 first round saw a surprise outcome. Daniel Noboa, whose father is a banana tycoon and five-time losing presidential candidate, polled below five points before election day only to make it into the runoff by earning 23.7 percent of ballots. He will face Luisa González of the Citizen Revolution Political Movement in the October 20 runoff. González, a leftist ally of divisive former President Rafael Correa (2007–2017), took the top spot on Sunday when she won 33.3 percent of the vote. Both candidates served as legislators in the dissolved Assembly. 

But the election has also been shocking for tragic reasons. Just 11 days before the election, Fernando Villavicencio, an anti-corruption candidate polling third, was gunned down after a campaign event in Quito. In a sign of fears of political attacks, Villavicencio’s replacement Christian Zurita showed up to vote heavily guarded and in a bulletproof vest and helmet. Unsurprisingly, voters have indicated that insecurity is a top issue in the country, where homicides has exploded over the past year. 

AS/COA Online looks at the fast facts that help explain this election.

1.5 years

Whether it’s González or Noboa, the winner will finish out a period that matches up with what would have been the rest of Lasso’s term, given that the next election was supposed to take place in 2025.

81.2 percent

Portion of Ecuador’s 12.6 million voters who cast ballots. The turnout is similar to recent elections. Voting is obligatory in Ecuador.

“Peaceful and safe”

That’s how Ecuador’s top electoral authority, Diana Atamaint, described election day. Some 100,000 soldiers were deployed around Ecuador to protect against violence. 

While few disruptions were reported domestically, voters abroad faced challenges with the electronic voting system used that was subject to cyberattacks traced to Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Russia, and Ukraine, per Atamaint. 

16.5 percent

Portion of votes slain candidate Villavicencio received, putting him third. His replacement, Christian Zurita, was named six of days before the election, meaning his name did not appear on the ballot. 

Noboa himself denounced an attempted attack outside of Guayaquil on his caravan. He was unharmed. 

2 years

Amount of time Noboa spent in office as a lawmaker before the Assembly was dissolved. The second-place finisher has appealed to young voters and given his relatively short political career, positioned himself as an anti-establishment contender while boasting name recognition from his family’s fame. His composed performance in the final debate is may have also helped sway undecided voters, reports The Economist. His platform focuses on increasing employment, reforming transit, investing in healthcare personnel and technology, and reactivating the economies of the poorer provinces on the coast.


Noboa’s age, making him the youngest candidate of the eight competitors who ran in the first round. If elected, he would be the world’s second-youngest president after Burkina Faso’s Ibrahim Traoré. González, meanwhile, is 45. 


The number of Ecuadoran legislators—Noboa included—who visited Moscow in September 2022 in a bid to strengthen Ecuador’s ties with Russia. Noboa covered travel expenses. Russia is one of the main export destinations for the bananas the Noboa family sells, and the candidate is the president of the Interparliamentary Friendship Group between the Republic of Ecuador and the Russian Federation, a group he created before the trip.


Gónzalez’s position on abortion rights, even in the case of rape. Elsewhere, her platform has pledged to bring back Correa’s social programs, slash inequality, increase tourism, and tackle the country’s insecurity.