This post, unlike the previous one, is a backgrounder.
Plebiscites in Colombia are governed by Title IV, Chapter 1 of the Constitution, aka Articles 103-106. Essentially, it allows the President to call a referendum with the approval of the Senate. The chapter does say, “The decision of the people shall be binding,” but it vague on everything else.
And so, the Constitutional Court was called to issue an opinion as to the referendum law. It said that a no would only prevent the President from implementing this accord. Another one could be negotiated or Congress could overturn the referenda and pass the accord via legislation. Similarly, with the approval of the Senate and his cabinet, President Santos could amend the accord and send it back out for a vote.
There is still a mystery about the polls. Early polls in June recorded 53-point margins. But that soon changed. By mid-August, polls were all over the map. Cifras y Conceptos and the Centro Nacional de Consultoría indicated “yes”; Ipsos and Datexco projected “no.” In September, however, the polls were back to showing support, although one tracking poll showed support declining in the middle of the month. (Page 3.) That said, by the end all the polls projected a victory.
One facil explanation is low turnout. And it is true, turnout was shockingly low at 37%. But that only pushes back the mystery: the polls expected 67% turnout. At the end of the day, it is still a mystery. More data analysis is needed ...