UPDATE 9-Argentine president strolls to re-election win

Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:29pm GMT

* President wins resounding re-election victory

* Exit poll gives her 55 percent of vote, massive lead

* Seen maintaining big spending, interventionist policies

* Worsening global economy could force changes (Recasts throughout, adds fresh quotes, color)

By Helen Popper and Terry Wade

BUENOS AIRES, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Argentina's fiery center-leftist president, Cristina Fernandez, swept to a landslide re-election victory on Sunday, crowning a comeback that seemed unthinkable for much of her turbulent first term.

An exit poll showed Fernandez winning with 55 percent of the vote, about 40 percentage points ahead of her nearest rival, Socialist Hermes Binner.

No Argentine leader has won such a big share of the vote since Gen. Juan Domingo Peron was elected with 62 percent in 1973, and Fernandez's supporters celebrated in downtown Buenos Aires, waving blue-and-white flags and chanting.

If confirmed by official results, the scale of Fernandez's victory would give her a strong mandate to deepen the unconventional and interventionist economic policies that play well with many voters but irritate investors and farmers.   Continued...

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