The Venezuelan research firm Varianzas reported, at a month and a half from the Oct. 7 presidential election, a virtual tie between President Hugo Chavez and the united opposition candidate Henrique Capriles.

According to the pollster's projections, if the election were held this Sunday, the leftist head of state would obtain 49.3 percent of the vote compared with 47.5 percent for Capriles, with 3.5 percent undecided.

The gap of a scant 2.1 percentage points is less that the firm's last figure in June when it stood at 4.3 points, with Chavez leading Capriles by 50.3 percent to 46 percent.

The survey, based on 2,000 interviews between Aug. 2-15 with a 2.16 percent margin of error, is far from the advantage most polls have given Chavez in recent months, repeatedly showing the president leading Capriles by 15 to 20 points.

On Thursday the Hinterlaces firm presented its latest study, which found that 48 percent of voters would back Chavez and 30 percent Capriles if the election were held Sunday, while 4 percent said neither of the two and 18 percent gave no answer, all of which maintains the status quo of recent months.

On Oct. 7, Venezuelans will elect their president for the 2013-2019 term from among seven candidates led by Chavez, in power since 1999, and Capriles, the 40-year-old ex-governor and attorney. EFE