In the 2014 elections, the left-wing Broad Front won a third consecutive election with absolute majorities in both houses of the General Assembly. The Broad Front's term in office еarned support through the creation of a large welfare system, but at the same time was undermined by an increasing budget deficit, along with rising unemployment and a spike in violence. The election campaign focused primarily around the issue of crime, with each party proposing different solutions. A constitutional referendum was held alongside the elections on amendments proposed by opposition Senator Jorge Larrañaga, which proposed the introduction of a National Guard and tougher security measures.
Heading into the elections, most opinion polls predicted a run-off between Martínez and Lacalle Pou, along with the loss of the Broad Front's congressional majority and the growth of Open Cabildo. In the first round of voting, the Broad Front saw its worst results since the 1999 elections, but Martínez still received the most votes and qualified for the runoff along with Lacalle Pou, who subsequently received support from most of the eliminated opposition parties. In the runoff, Lacalle Pou defeated Martínez by just over 37,000 votes in a tight race, with the final result only declared after the counting of absentee ballots.
The elections marked the first loss for the Broad Front in a presidential election since 1999, with Lacalle Pou becoming the first National Party president since his father, Luis Alberto Lacalle de Herrera, who held office from 1990 to 1995.
The 2014 elections had resulted in a third consecutive victory for the Broad Front, along with an absolute majority in the General Assembly. Tabaré Vázquez, the winner of the presidential election, was ineligible to run again due to constitutional term limits. As a result, the governing Broad Front had to nominate a new candidate.
The economy had seen continued growth since 2003, allowing the government to invest heavily in social programs, pensions and health care. However, improved poverty and inequality ratios came at the cost of a budget deficit that reached 4.8 percent of GDP by the end of August 2019. According to political analysts, the Broad Front was predicted to lose its congressional majority, which combined with an increase in the number of parties expected to win seats in Congress, would make coalition negotiations difficult.