In the symbolic year commemorating half a century since the coup d'état of September 11, 1973, and the death of President Salvador Allende, the Chilean left has suffered one of its worst defeats since the return of democracy in 1990. On May 7, a vote was held to elect the constitutional councilors who will be in charge of writing -for the second time- a draft constitution that will be submitted to a referendum on December 17. Fifty-one councilors were elected with the election of a single representative of Chile's Indigenous ethnic groups, which make up around 10% of the population. There will be 26 men and 25 women who will have the task of achieving a text that will be approved by most of the country. However, the result could not have been more devastating for the government of President Gabriel Boric and for the two coalitions of the left and center-left that accompanied him. The far-right party, Republican, formed in 2019, swept the entire country, reaching 35.42% of the votes and electing 22 constituent councilors that added to the 11 of obtained by the center-right parties, giving them the absolute majority to draft the new constitution.

Let us recall that in 2020 a plebiscite was held where 78.31% of the voters voted for a new constitution, and 155 constituents were elected where the leftist forces obtained the absolute majority. They drafted a Magna Carta, which, presented to the citizens in September 2022, was rejected by 61.89% of the votes. In addition to this first defeat of the government and the political forces that support it, this devastating result will have a decisive influence on the remaining two and a half years of the presidential term. A fact to consider is that the sum of blank and null votes, which last year reached only 2.13%, in this election rose to 21.53% with 95.13%. This high figure, never seen before in an election in Chile, reflects in part the call of hard sectors of the left that questioned the rules that were given for this election.

It should also be kept in mind that the Republican Party was not in favor of a new constitution but rather of maintaining the 1980 constitution drafted under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Another surprise was that the second most voted party was the Communist Party, which reached 8.08% of the votes, surpassing the Socialist Party (5.96%) and that of President Boric, Convergencia Social, which only reached 5.72%. The center-left did not manage to elect any councilors, and the three parties that made up the list reached only 8.96% of the votes. The historic Christian Democratic Party obtained only 3.78% and the populist People's Party, 5.48%. The most voted councilor in the metropolitan region, which is Chile's largest constituency, Luis Silva, of the Republican Party, a lawyer, and member of Opus Dei, obtained 17.95%. Second place went to the Communist Party candidate, Keren Araya, a schoolteacher and union leader, with 12.51%.

Thus, the political map of Chile, which only two years ago was tilted towards the left and center-left, wasted the historic opportunity to have written a balanced constitution that identified the main demands of Chilean society. Today the pendulum has swung to the extreme right, which will have the opportunity to write one of its own. It seems that the possibilities of establishing a "social democratic state of rights" -an aspiration widely felt by the left and center-left- are moving away, and there remains doubt as to what will happen with the central point of the current magna carta that establishes the principle of subsidiarity, which in spite of the numerous reforms that have been made to the constitution, the right has never given its approval to eliminate or reform it.

What are the reasons for this electoral debacle for the government? It is not easy to give one because there are multiple reasons. There are at least two factors that have determined this turnaround in Chilean society and that have been reflected in numerous surveys. One is the growing insecurity in all of Chile due to the explosive increase in violence, crime, and insecurity. A second is the unleashed immigration to Chile in recent years, which began several years ago and has been poorly controlled by the State. The latter has been aggravated by the infiltration of drug trafficking and criminal groups that have developed levels of violence unknown in the country. In the last 40 days, three carabineros were killed by criminals, two of them by foreigners. Added to the above are the numerous and gross errors in the proposed constitution voted last year, which was massively rejected, leaving the government in a state of perplexity, to which are added the economic crisis, inflation, and the mistakes of the government team that has insisted on demands or measures that do not have popular support.

Now the challenges are the same for the main political actors: firstly, the right wing, which will have to seek a balance in the drafting of the new Magna Carta and avoid maximalism, as happened in the previous failed attempt led by the left wing. Secondly, the latter, together with the center-left, will have to persuade the majority to achieve some of its historical demands. Thirdly, the government, in the midst of the storm and pressures from its own sector, will have to work for the success of the next plebiscite on December 17. It will not be easy. Defeats always raise many responsible and guilty parties, which will lead President Boric and the coalition that supports him to a process of reflection regarding the course for the remainder of the government, especially regarding the commitment to his program that his supporters expect him to fulfill. In perspective is the presidential election to be held in 2025, where the specter is already rising that the leader of the ultra-right, José Antonio Kast, who in the last presidential election obtained 44.13% of the votes, will become the next president of Chile.