Just 10 days before elections, Brazilian ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva extended his lead over incumbent Jair Bolsonaro, according to polling released Thursday, inching closer to the 50 percent of votes needed to avoid a runoff.
Lula climbed two percentage points from the prior week — now polling at 47 percent, up from 45. Bolsonaro, meanwhile, remained at 33 percent both weeks, according to the latest poll from the Datafolha institute.
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If Lula gathers 50 percent of the vote (not including blank or null ballots) he will be able to call victory in the October 2 first round.
The survey’s margin of error is plus or minus two percentage points and analysts continue to predict a second vote as the most likely outcome.
Nonetheless in recent days “an environment favorable to a victory in the first political round has arisen,” Adriano Laureno, a political analyst at Prospectiva consulting firm told AFP.
The two candidates are running in Brazil’s most polarized presidential race in decades: Lula, a leftist who led the country from 2003 to 2010, is popular but tarnished by a corruption scandal, while the tactics of far-right Bolsonaro have earned the current president the nickname “Tropical Trump.”
If the election does advance to a second round it will be held on October 30.