Thursday, December 8

Lula is close to victory in the first round, according to a latest poll

  • According to the consulting firm Datafolha, the candidate of the Workers’ Party has a 50% voting intention

  • It remains to be seen whether the television debate with Jair Bolsonaro increases or reduces his chances of avoiding the second turn

Three days before the elections, the latest survey published in Brazil reinforces the hopes of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of prevail in the first round. According to Datafolha, the candidate of the Partido de l (PT) would obtain 50% of the valid votes, 14 points more than Jair Bolsonaro. The great unknown on Thursday night is whether the tv debate between the contenders, marked by tension and confrontation, could alter the preferences of citizens. Nearly 85% of those eligible to vote already know who they will elect on Sunday.

More than debate, what actually happened in the studios of the television station Or Balloon It was like a cockfight. “It’s crazy for a president to come here and say what he says with such aplomb,” Lula complained about the cataract of fake news from the retired captain. “It annoys me to ask all the time for the right of reply“.

Bolsonaro defended his management to the letter. He even extolled his much-questioned environmental policy. “The people love me, and the countryside will vote for me again“, he said, when asked about deforestation in the Amazon. “Liar, ex-prisoner and traitor to the country“, he snapped at his rival. “We cannot return to a phase where there was a kleptocracy.” He also remarked that during his term “there was no act of corruption.” According to the newspaper Folha of São Paulo, the president activated the “hate cabinet” mode during his television participation. But such belligerence, he suggested, could have unhelpful “collateral results.”

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Lula’s response

Lula didn’t take long to reply: “it is a lie to say that I set up a criminal organization. Instead of saying that, he should talk about the diversion of funds of which his children are accused, of the robberies in his Ministry of Education, of the mafia that tried to obtain an advantage with the sale of vaccines against Covid.” The PT leader in turn claimed his two presidential terms (2003-11): “The poor had a 30% increase in their income, 22 million jobs were created, the minimum wage was increased by 77%. It was the country with the greatest social inclusion in the country’s history.”

Ciro Gomes, a former Lula minister, third in the polls with 6%, devoted a good part of the debate to attacking the favorite in these elections. “He didn’t want to learn anything from the bitter lessons he received,” he said of the PT’s 13-year government.

The undecided factor

Although the latest polls give Lula a great chance of avoiding a second election, at the end of October, the polls could throw up surprises if the voter turnout is lower than expected. In the 2018 elections that gave Bolsonaro victory, 20% of eligible voters did not show up to vote. In the 2020 municipal elections, abstention reached 23%. Of the 156 million people considered eligible to vote this year, 24% have not yet completed the biometric registration through which the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) collects signatures, photos and fingerprints of citizens.

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Related news

“Bolsonaro risks ending Sunday eating cold pizza. A victory for Lula in the first round is at the finish line. The imponderable of the undecided last minute, the abstentions and the invalid votes could tip the balance in either direction, for a small difference. Who knows, it may rain too much or there may be no buses for people to vote,” said Vinicius Torres Freire, a columnist for Folha. The great fear on the eve of the elections is related to the spread of fake news by the Bolsonarista factories that have questioned the transparency of the elections.

In this context, the far-right candidate received an unexpected gift: the support of Neymar via tiktok, where he has more than eight million followers. Bolsonaro did not take long to upload it to his own Twitter account, where the star of the selected one mimics the music of the retired captain’s campaign: “vote, vote and confirm: 22, it’s Bolsonaro”, asks the song in allusion to the number that must be marked in the electronic ballot box that the candidate for re-election has questioned so much.

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