What you need to know about the Mexican general election


Mexico’s general election, scheduled for 2 June, will be the largest in the country’s history, both in terms of eligible voters and seats for grabs. 

The ongoing election cycle is also on track to be the most violent, turning the conflict with organised criminal organisations into one of the most contentious talking points. There are daily reports of cartels using threat campaigns or carrying out targeted assassinations against candidates, directly impacting the right to free and fair elections.

With both the favourite candidate and the runner-up being women, it is almost guaranteed that a female candidate will be elected as president for the first time in Mexico. The only male candidate has 10% of voting intentions, so there is little to no chance for him to win.

Claudia Sheinbaum from the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) is seen as Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s successor and is the favourite candidate to win the presidential race. Her main rival, Xóchitl Gálvez, represents the National Action Party (PAN) and is about 20 points behind. 

MORENA, the most dominant political force in Mexico, seeks to expand its influence within the Congress of the Union and secure a second consecutive presidential term. Both candidates have a similar view on United States-Mexico relations, with the result posing no risk to businesses between the two countries.

Who’s in the running? Primary political coalitions

Let's Continue Making History (Sigamos Haciendo Historia)

  • Formed by the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA), Ecological Green Party of Mexico (PVEM) and the Labour Party (PT).
  • The coalition’s presidential candidate is Claudia Sheinbaum.
  • Supporters appreciate the quality-of-life improvement for lower-income voters and economic growth under MORENA’s presidency.
  • Opponents criticise the coalition for perceived democratic backslide and failure to improve public security.

Strength and Heart for Mexico (Fuerza y Corazón por México)

  • Formed by the National Action Party (PAN), Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the Party of Democratic Revolution (PRD).
  • The coalition’s presidential candidate is Xóchitl Gálvez.
  • The coalition draws its support due to its pro-business stance and from voters who felt alienated under MORENA’s presidency.
  • Opponents criticise the coalition’s parties for being associated with corruption scandals.

Citizen’s Movement (Movimiento Ciudadano)

  • Citizen’s Movement (MC) is a political party created in 1999 and does not have a coalition in the 2024 general election.
  • MC’s presidential candidate is Jorge Máynez.
  • The coalition draws its support from voters seeking a “third way”; the majority of which are younger voters.
  • Opponents criticise Máynez’s bid by claiming it is merely a campaign to increase MC’s national recognition.

What are Mexicans concerned about?

The increase in cartel-related violence under MORENA’s administration (2018-2024) has been at the forefront of the electoral debates. Around 170,000 homicides were reported during Obrador’s six years in power, and the total number of disappearances has more than doubled since 2018. The government’s response was to strengthen the National Guard, which has had ineffective results; consequently, 71% of voters disapprove of Obrador’s handling of public security. The growth in cartels’ influence translated to the most violent election in Mexico’s history, with at least 454 instances of violence recorded since 1 September 2023. Chiapas, Guerrero and Morelos are flashpoint states.

Obrador’s proposed reforms for the National Electoral Agency (INE) have drawn criticism due to concerns of democratic backsliding. Obrador presented the first proposal in April 2022, and would fundamentally alter the country’s election system. The second proposal, announced in 2023, would reduce the INE's funding and staffing, effectively limiting the body’s autonomy. After weeks of countrywide demonstrations, the proposal was blocked by the country’s Supreme Court in June 2023. Obrador revealed a new package of 20 reforms on 5 February, which, among other items, would see direct elections for the Supreme Court and the INE, effectively handing control of both bodies to MORENA. The decision led to marches with tens of thousands of attendees in February and May.

Navigating business in the election climate

Organisations with an interest in Mexico should take note of the deteriorating security trend ahead of the general elections, mostly driven by cases of political violence. While recent precedents indicate that armed attacks are targeted at candidates, foreign nationals cannot rule out incidental risks. The risk of spontaneous protests remains, with this form of unrest being particularly likely in case parties challenge election results at the municipal or state level. Ensure that operations account for low-level disruption, such as political rallies following the announcement of election results on 2 June.


  • Closely follow political and security developments in Mexico through reliable local news outlets, international media reporting and Healix Sentinel alerts.
  • Anticipate localised disruption and heightened security in the vicinity of some polling stations, electoral offices, and government buildings until at least 5 June.
  • Where appropriate, remain neutral in your social media profiles and refrain from displaying overt political allegiances if there are any political discussions.
  • Identify flashpoint locations such as political party offices, campaign rallies and election-related events in case of unrest.
  • Abide by all official directives and bypass all gatherings as a basic security precaution.
Felipe Wagner
Threat Analyst
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