Ipsos poll shows tie on eve of Peru's election, with Fujimori slightly ahead

FILE PHOTO: Peru's presidential candidates Castillo and Fujimori in their last debate ahead of the June 6 run-off election, in Arequipa, Peru
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By Marco Aquino and Marcelo Rochabrun

LIMA, Peru (Reuters) - An Ipsos poll on Saturday afternoon showed Peru's runoff presidential election still locked in a statistical tie, but right-wing candidate Keiko Fujimori is slightly ahead of leftist Pedro Castillo, by a 0.7 percentage point margin.

Peruvians will head to the polls on Sunday in a bitterly divisive election that has pitted Fujimori, the daughter of jailed ex-President Alberto Fujimori, against Castillo, a little-known elementary school teacher.

Voters are divided by class and geography, with urban and higher-income Peruvians leaning toward Fujimori, and poorer, rural Peruvians leaning toward Castillo.

The Ipsos poll, which was conducted on Saturday and seen by Reuters, puts Fujimori at 44.8% of the vote and Castillo at 44.1% of the vote. Another 11.1% of voters would not vote for either candidate.

Ipsos said the poll had a margin of error of 1.4 percentage points and a sample size of 5,117.

Ipsos follows two other pollsters who have now put Fujimori slightly ahead, although still in statistical-tie territory.

Pollster IEP Saturday morning put Fujimori 0.1 percentage point ahead of Castillo, according to the results seen by Reuters. A poll on Friday by pollster CPI had Fujimori 0.2 percentage point ahead.

The race remains too close to call and all polls show a statistical tie, but Saturday's polls show Fujimori's best performance so far.

It is illegal within Peru to publish polls during the last week before a presidential election, although the surveys can be carried out as long as local media do not publish them.

(Reporting by Marco Aquino and Marcelo Rochabrun; Editing by Leslie Adler)