General elections for President and Parliament took place in Uruguay on 25 October and 29 November 2009. In parliamentary election results, the Broad Front (left-wing coalition) emerged the winner, electing 16 senators and 50 deputies, while the National Party elected 9 senators and 30 deputies, the Colorado Party 5 Senators and 17 Deputies, and the Independent Party 2 deputies.
In the presidential contest, the first round of voting produced no majority winner, with José Mujica of the incumbent Broad Front receiving 48% of the vote and Luis Alberto Lacalle of the National Party 29%. In the runoff, Mujica handily defeated Lacalle to win the presidency.
On 25 October 2009 the general election was held, this time with compulsory voting. The clear favorites were José Mujica and Luis Alberto Lacalle. Although they held very different political philosophies that tended to polarize the electorate, both struggled to win the centre of the political spectrum.
The Uruguayan constitution requires a presidential candidate to obtain over 50% of the votes. As Mujica received 48% of the initial vote, a run-off was held on 29 November. In the runoff round, Mujica easily defeated Lacalle, 53% to 43%, to win the Presidency.
Analysts indicated that Mujica won largely because of the popularity of the Broad Front and incumbent President Tabaré Vázquez's pro-business policies that strengthened the country's economy. After taking office in 2005, Vazquez cut the unemployment rate from 12.3 to 7.3 percent, encouraged trade and foreign investment, increased wages and social spending, and boosted the central bank reserves and the country's credit rating.
The Broad Front retained a majority in parliament with 16 senators (plus Danilo Astori, later elected vice-president and thus president of the General Assembly) out of a total of 30 and 50 deputies out of a total of 99. The National Party came in second with 9 senators and 30 deputies. Both parties lost votes and legislative seats in comparison with 2004. The historically dominant Colorado made gains and increased its representation to 5 senators and 17 deputies. Finally, the Independent Party did not achieve its main goal of winning a seat in the Senate, but obtained 2 seats in the lower chamber.
Pedro Bordaberry led the Colorado Party to a notable electoral recovery, practically doubling its votes cast in 2004. The Independent Party, with candidates Pablo Mieres and Iván Posada, gained an additional seat in the Chamber of Deputies. Popular Assembly, a small, new extreme left party, did not win much support.
e • d2009 Uruguayan parliamentary election results