Brazilians will have to go to the polls again on October 30: With 43.34 percent of the vote for incumbent far-right president Jair Bolsonaro and 48.25 percent of the vote for his leftist rival Lula da Silva, none of the candidates achieved the required majority of 50 percent. Plus one vote.
Previously, some pollsters had already promised Lula a first-round victory, but Jair Bolsonaro, who has nearly 10 percent more than some polls attributed to him, is still very resilient. Bolsonaro will get more seats in Congress, as Brazil also renewed the Chamber of Deputies, part of the Senate, as well as the parliaments and governors of the 26 states on Sunday.
So, more than ever, it appears that Brazil, the largest country in Latin America, is polarized, that the coming campaign weeks will be very tense and that the return of the left to the heart of power will not be Sunday’s rally.
‘From tomorrow’ (today, editor) “We will resume the campaign,” Lula said in a response Sunday evening. “We’ll have to work harder, travel more, have more campaign meetings, debate more seriously, talk more with people, and better convince the Brazilian community of our proposal.”
If Lula da Silva wants to win, he must first win with the 20 percent of voters who decide not to go to the polls despite the obligation to vote. Lula also has a range of votes among the citizens who voted for his former leftist minister Cerro Gomez, one of the – desperate – candidates who also got a chance. Lula will also have to make promises to candidate Simone Tibet if he wants her electors to vote.
Above all, Lula’s return will depend on his ability to appeal to conservative and right-wing voters, citizens who misunderstood Jair Bolsonaro and his heavily criticized state, but neither of which has forgotten how left-wing Workers’ Party (PT) under his previous rule. President Dilma Rousseff has lost credibility due to a combination of recession and corruption investigations.
When he himself was head of state twice in a row, from 2003 to 2010, Lula lifted Brazil to an unprecedented economic boom, and the country that he would inherit from Jair Bolsonaro today if he were allowed to return to the Planalto Palace, is in all regions even worse: 33 suffer from The 214 million Brazilians are driven out of poverty or hunger, and the unprecedented devastation of the Amazon rainforest, the planet’s largest reservoir of oxygen, also calls into question Brazil’s reputation as a player on the world stage.
However, Jair Bolsonaro is far from written off. Not only has the conservative parties that support him in Congress bolstered by opinion polls, in the metropolis of São Paulo, the country’s richest and largest city, but the president has been shown to be far more popular than opinion polls indicated.
Polling agencies, especially in the populous southwest, failed to handle the true voter’s mood and ranked the left vote higher than the right. Until Saturday, some agencies had already predicted that Lula da Silva would win in the first round, something that has only happened twice since Brazil returned to democracy in 1985.
Anyway, there’s a fragrance of disappointment in Lola’s ranks this morning. While Lula still has the best chances of becoming the next president and his supporters remain hawkish, the page on the Bolsonaro era has by no means been turned. On the contrary, almost half of Brazilians support the ideology of the far-right whose two leaders were formerly in the military.
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