With less than two weeks to the 2018 presidential elections, a run-off election in April is almost guaranteed based on the latest polls that reveal no one candidate reaches 20% of the decided vote, let alone the 40% required to win.

The most recent poll taken by the Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR) after the Inter-American Court decision on same-sex marriage has Fabricio Alvarado of the Restauración Nacional leading the pack with 17% of the decided voters.

However, that would not be enough to win the election if it were held today. Costa Rica’s election rules require that the winning candidate obtain at least 40% of the popular vote. In the event no one candidate reaches the 40%, a run-off election will be held between the top two vote earners, to decide the office of the presidency.

The poll results pegged the “Trump-like” Juan Diego Castro of the Partido Integración Nacional (PIN) at 16%, and up to now front-runner Antonio Alvarez Desanti of the Partido Liberacion Nacional (PLN) at 11%.

The undecided responding to the poll was 27%.

The survey was released by the Centro de Investigación y Estudios Políticos (CIEP) this Tuesday morning published in the Semanario Universidad (the university newspaper).

The poll results are much lower, almost half of others, such as the Opol Consultores poll released last week (January 15 to 17). The poll took in the response of 1,013 people by telephone and has a margin of error of 3.1%.

The Inter-American Court decision on ‘equal marriage’ was made known on January 9.

Since, all the front-running candidates have made it clear they are opposed to same-sex marriage, committing to blocking gay marriage in the country.

Fabricio Alvarado is the only candidate despite his opposition to the Court decision saw an increase in the decided voters, jumping 3 percentage points from 14% in December to 17% this past week. Alvarado’s opposition to equal marriage includes saying he would withdraw Costa Rica from the American Convention on Human Rights.

As to the other contenders from the presidential chair is Rodolfo Piza of the Partido Unidad Social Cristiana (PUSC) with 9% of the decided voters and Carlos Alvarado, of the Partido Acción Ciudadana (PAC) and Rodolfo Hernández, of the Partido Republicano Socialcristiano, each with 6% of voter support.

The other seven candidates were even lower.

For decades up to the 2014 elections, the PLN and PUSC split the political power in the country, the PAC (that did finally form a government – 2014-2018) always the third wheel and the Movimiento Libertario the voice that no one ever listened to.

Today, the PLN (despite Alvarez’s early rise and lead in the polls), PUSC and PAC all seem to be trailing the fringe parties that have been gaining political clout in the last several years.

If the win by Luis Guillermo Solis was a surpirse in 2014, the 2018 results could be even more interesting.

Costa Ricans go to the polls on Sunday, February 4.