Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva maintains a comfortable lead over incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro, and could possibly win in the first round of voting this October, according to a poll published Thursday.
Forty-seven percent of those polled by the Datafolha consulting firm said they intended to support Lula in the presidential election, compared to only 28 percent for Bolsonaro.
The 19-point lead for Lula is only slightly smaller than the 21-point gap in last month’s survey, which put Lula’s support at 48 percent and Bolsonaro at 27.
The results of the new poll, published by the Folha de Sao Paulo daily newspaper, show voters split between the former and current president, with other parties far behind.
Center-left candidate Ciro Gomes came in third at eight percent among those polled, with a group of other candidates receiving only one or two percent.
If you remove those intending to cast a blank or spoiled ballot, Lula would get 53 percent — enough to win outright in the first round — and Bolsanaro would have 32 percent, according to Datafolha.
In the event the election goes to a runoff on October 30, Lula would win 57 percent of the vote against 34 percent for Bolsonaro, close to the 58-33 result in May’s opinion poll.
“The new poll shows, once again, that the Brazilian people want to get rid of this tragic government,” Lula tweeted after the poll’s release.
Bolsonaro dismisses the polls showing him behind, but with soaring inflation, he faces strong headwinds in his reelection bid.
Some 55 percent of those polled by Datafolha said they would never vote for Bolsonaro, compared to 35 percent who would never choose Lula.
The poll consisted of in person interviews with 2,556 people between June 22 and 23 in 181 Brazilian cities and has a margin of error of two percentage points.