Mexico's main political parties are battling it out in local elections to choose the governors of a dozen states. The vote is being seen as a run up to the presidential election in 2012.
Initial results show that President Felipe Calderon's National Action Party, known as the P.A.N, has taken three strongholds formerly controlled by the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or P.R.I. The P.R.I. formerly ruled Mexico for 71 years, before losing to the P.A.N. in 2000. But the P.R.I. did beat rival parties and held onto governorships in the remaining nine states.
The party is hoping to regain the presidency in two years, and believes it can capitalize on President Calderon's sinking popularity, as the economy falters, and drug violence spins out of control. However, analysts believe local issues which influence state voting patterns, may not translate to a national win for either party in 2012.