Brazil’s Lula has 12% lead over Bolsonaro, would win run-off by 16%, says poll

SAO PAULO, Aug 15 (Reuters) – Brazil’s Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has a 12-percentage-point lead over far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro ahead of an October election, according to a new poll published on Monday.

In a survey by IPEC, formerly known as IBOPE, Oct. 2. In the first round of the election schedule of , Lula was supported by 44% of voters against Bolsonaro, 32%.

In an expected runoff between the two men on Oct. 30, with neither candidate winning more than 50% of valid votes, Lula would be elected with 35% to 51% for Bolsonaro, a margin of 16 points, the poll showed.

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The gain for the left-wing former president echoes other polls, which have shown Brazil’s most polarized presidential race in decades narrowing in recent weeks.

Lula’s lead has fallen from 26% in December to 18% in July, according to Datafolha, another major polling company, but the leftist leader had a 20% lead over Bolsonaro in the two men facing off in a run-off.

Bolsonaro has increased welfare spending for poor Brazilians, improving their numbers. They have pressured state-controlled oil company Petrobras to lower fuel prices, a major factor driving inflation.

Pollster Quest, a telephone survey, found Bolsonaro now statistically tied with Lula in Sao Paulo, the country’s largest electoral college, and narrowing his rival’s lead in Minas Gerais, which has the second-largest number of voters.

But another poll released Monday by investment bank BTG said Bolsonaro had again lost ground, trailing his rival by 4 percentage points, leading by 11 points. Lula’s lead for the run-off widened to 15 points from 12 in the previous BTG/FSB poll.

An IPEC poll said Bolsonaro’s approval rating stood at 29%, down from just 19% in December, while the number of voters who see his government as bad or terrible fell to 43% from 55% in the previous poll.

Still, 57% of Brazilians disapprove of the way Bolsonaro, a former army captain and right-wing firebrand, is running the country, while only 37% approve, according to IPEC.

It was IPEC’s first national survey of voter intentions and conducted personal interviews with 2,000 people between August 12-14. The poll has a margin of error of 2 percentage points up or down.

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Reporting by Peter Frontini in Sao Paulo and Anthony Bodle in Brasilia; Edited by Sam Holmes

Our Standards: Principles of Thomson Reuters Trust.

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