The number of Brazilians rejecting the government of right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro continued to rise this month, according to an opinion poll released on Wednesday, underscoring his early struggles after easily winning an October election.
About 27% of those surveyed found the government doing a “bad” or “terrible” job, pollster Ibope said in the survey commissioned by industry group CNI. That’s up from 24% in an Ibope survey in March and from 11% in January.
The government’s “good/great” rating was 35%, little changed from 34% in March, but down from 49% in January.
The Bolsonaro government approval rating is the lowest for the early months of any previous Brazilian president elected since democratic rule was restored in 1985.
CNI polling director Renato da Fonseca said many Brazilians had voted for Bolsonaro to prevent the leftist Workers Party from returning to power, but that he had not been able to convince them his government was heading in the right direction.
“The economy is not moving. Growth has not returned as some of them probably expected would happen with Bolsonaro elected, and they are disappointed,” Fonseca told reporters.
Those views were supported by analysts.
More than half of Bolsonaro’s backers in October were voting against the Workers Party and had no other option, said Leonardo Barreto, head of Brasilia-based political consultancy Factual.
“Bolsonaro needed to move to the center to hold onto that contingent of supporters. But he has done the opposite, and continues to hold right-wing positions, to keep his original allies,” Barreto said.
Unemployment remains high, consumer spending has not picked up and investor confidence remains on hold, pending approval of a fiscally vital overhaul of Brazil’s pension system, CNI’s Fonseca said.
Bolsonaro, a former Army captain who was elected on a law-and-order anti-corruption platform, was most approved for his perceived actions in improving public security, the poll showed. His lowest approval numbers related to taxes and interest rates.
Bolsonaro had the highest approval rating among men, those in the richer south of the country, and among families with higher incomes earning more than five times the monthly minimum wage, the poll showed.
Ibope surveyed 2,000 people between April 12-15 across Brazil. The poll’s margin of error is 2 percentage points.