Posted on September 27, 2018

Brazil Elections: A Tight and Turbulent Race

Sam Cowie, Al Jazeera, September 27, 2018

In less than two weeks, Brazilian voters will head to the polls choose a new president.

It’s been a turbulent contest so far, packed with drama, including an assassination attempt on Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right frontrunner who continues to lead opinion polls while recovering in hospital.

Former Sao Paulo mayor Fernando Haddad of the leftist Workers’ Party is second, having taken over from ex-President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva, who is serving a 12-year sentence on corruption charges and was barred by the electoral court from running earlier this month.

Given that support for Bolsonaro has steadily grown in opinion polls all year and that Haddad has risen rapidly since he took over Lula’s candidacy, barring an unforeseen circumstance, it’s seen as almost certain that these two will make the second round runoff, scheduled for October 28.

According to opinion polls released Wednesday by Ibope, Bolsonaro leads with 27 percent of voting intention, while Haddad has 21 percent and candidates Ciro Gomes and centre-right Geraldo Alckmin trail with 12 percent and 8 percent respectively.

If neither candidate gets more than 50 percent during the first round on October 7, the vote will proceed to a second-round runoff.