May 13, 2021 7:41:27 am
An opinion poll published on Wednesday found Brazil’s former leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva would handily defeat far-right President Jair Bolsonaro by 55% to 32% in a run-off vote if the 2022 elections were held today.
In a first-round vote, Lula would get 41% of votes compared to 23% for Bolsonaro, the poll by Datafolha showed, while no other potential challengers polled above 7%. If no presidential candidate gets more than 50% of Brazil’s first-round vote in October 2022, the top two finishers advance to a second-round run off.
Lula, who recovered his political rights after corruption convictions against him were annulled this year, is expected to challenge Bolsonaro’s re-election next year, although he has not declared he is running.
Bolsonaro, a former army captain and congressman for 28 years, took office in January 2019 riding a wave of conservative sentiment and rejection of Lula’s Workers Party, the PT. It was in power for 13 years until Lula’s hand-picked successor was impeached.
But a worsening COVID-19 pandemic that has killed more than 428,000 Brazilians is undermining Bolsonaro’s popularity. He faces mounting criticism for denying the gravity of the virus, opposing lockdowns and failing to secure vaccine supplies.
Datafolha polled 2,071 Brazilians in person Tuesday and Wednesday. The survey has a margin of error of 2 percentage points.
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