Brazil will vote again in runoff after neither candidate gets 50% support

Brazil’s top two presidential candidates will face off in a runoff after neither received enough support to win outright on Sunday.

The election will decide whether the country returns a leftist to the top of the world’s fourth-largest democracy or keeps the far-right incumbent in office.

With 98.8% of the vote in Sunday’s election, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva had 48.1% and incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro had 43.5% of the vote.

Brazil’s electoral authority said the result makes a second-round vote between the two candidates a mathematical certainty.

Nine other candidates also stood, but their support pales in comparison to that for Mr Bolsonaro and Mr da Silva.

The close result came as a surprise as pre-election polls had given Mr da Silva a clear lead.

The latest Datafolha poll released on Saturday showed a 50% to 36% advantage for Mr da Silva among those looking to vote. It surveyed 12,800 people with a margin of error of two percentage points.

“This narrow difference between Lula and Bolsonaro was not foreseen,” said Nara Pavao, who teaches political science at the Federal University of Pernambuco.

Carlos Melo, a political science professor at Insper University in Sao Paulo, said: “It’s too early to go too deep, but this election shows that Bolsonaro’s win in 2018 was no hiccup.”

Mr Bolsonaro has outperformed in Brazil’s south-eastern region, which includes the populous states of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais, according to Rafael Cortez, head of political risk at consultancy Tendencias Consultoria.

“The polls haven’t caught that growth,” Mr. Cortez said.

Mr Bolsonaro’s government has been marked by inflammatory speeches, his scrutiny of democratic institutions, his widely criticized handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and the worst deforestation in the Amazon rainforest in 15 years.

But he has built a devoted base by defending conservative values ​​and portraying himself as the nation’s protector from left-wing politics, which he says violate personal liberties and create economic turmoil.

Mr. Da Silva is credited with building a massive welfare program during his tenure from 2003 to 2010 that helped lift tens of millions into the middle class.

He is also known for his government’s involvement in major corruption scandals and his own convictions, which were later overturned by the Supreme Court.

Mr. Da Silva is credited with building a massive welfare program during his tenure from 2003 to 2010 that helped lift tens of millions into the middle class.

He is also known for his government’s involvement in major corruption scandals and his own convictions, which were later overturned by the Supreme Court.

Polling stations across the country closed at 5 p.m. on Sunday, and because voting is conducted electronically, the first results are coming in quickly. The final results are usually available a few hours later.

More than 150 million Brazilians were eligible to vote, although abstentions can reach as high as 20%.

The election was far closer than expected, both in the presidential election and in the gubernatorial and congressional seats.

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https://www.newschainonline.com/news/world-news/brazil-to-vote-again-in-run-off-after-neither-candidate-receives-50-support-295904 Brazil will vote again in runoff after neither candidate gets 50% support

Mike Fahey

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