According to a new survey, Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro would win the presidential elections in the October 2 first round, slightly ahead of Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva of the Workers' Party (PT), who would nevertheless return to the Planalto Palace in Brasilia after a landslide runoff victory.
A Future Intelligence poll published Wednesday showed Bolsonaro would get 34.3% of the votes, against Lula's 33.3%. But in the second round, Lula would get 48% of the votes, while only 40.1% would go to Bolsonaro. To win in the first round, a candidate needs more than 50% of the valid votes.
Bolsonaro's advantage surfaced when potential voters were asked to spontaneously give a name of whom they would choose. When respondents were read a list of the main contenders, Lula led, albeit by a margin so narrow that it was within the margin of error.
The survey, commissioned by the Rio de Janeiro-based Banco Modal SA, is one of the first to show a virtual tie between the main candidates in the October first round.
The former President Lula (Jan. 1, 2003-Dec. 31, 2010), 76, has been the heavy favorite since Brazil's Federal Supreme Court (STF) threw out corruption convictions which prevented him from running for office in the last election.
Bolsonaro, 66, has downplayed the risks of COVID-19 and is blamed by many for the nearly 650,000 deaths caused by the pandemic in Brazil.
In recent weeks, however, opinion polls have increasingly shown that Lula's lead over Bolsonaro was narrowing as the economic outlook improved.
Future Intelligence interviewed 2,000 people by phone in 862 municipalities in Brazil between February 14 and 17. The survey has a margin of error of 2.2%, it was reported.