Presidential election in Brazil: Bolsonaro inflated again before the 2nd round

Presidential election in Brazil: Bolsonaro inflated again before the 2nd round

Despite being overtaken by favorite Lula in the first round of Brazil’s elections on Sunday, Jair Bolsonaro entered Monday’s second-round campaign with confidence, facing a stunned but combative left.

“Our opponents have prepared for a 100 meter dash, but we are ready to run a marathon. We will fight with more and more confidence,” announced the head of state on Twitter.

“Against all odds, in the first round we had more votes than in 2018, almost two million,” he emphasized.

On Sunday, in the first round of the presidential elections, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, icon of the left, won 48% of the vote, ahead of the outgoing far-right president with 43% and six million votes more than the official results.

As with Brexit or the election of Donald Trump, which they didn’t see coming, the polls were wildly wrong: they had promised Lula a 14-point lead in voting intentions (50% vs. 36%) and maybe even a win from the 1st round .

The Sao Paulo Stock Exchange welcomed these results on Monday, up more than 5.5% an hour before the close, while business circles continued to support Jair Bolsonaro and his liberal policies, albeit with reservations.

Lula, who is deeply disappointed by this result, met with his centre-right running mate, ex-governor Gerald Alckmin, for a “campaign coordination meeting” in Sao Paulo this afternoon.

“We need to talk to the people who didn’t vote for us in the first ballot,” Lula told the press after the meeting.

“I can tell you that we will win this election. It’s just an extension,” explained the old lion of Brazilian politics to his supporters late on Sunday, although he was visibly affected by the election disappointment.

“Tomorrow (Monday) I start campaigning,” Lula said, promising “more travel and other meetings” to meet Brazilians and win a third term on Oct. 30.

He’s looking forward to “the one-on-one talk” with his opponent, “to see if he’s going to lie,” he said.

– Dreaded disruptions –

The general elections organized in Brazil on Sunday also ended with an unexpected victory for the Bolsonarists in the posts of governor and in Congress, especially in the Senate, which was seized by an ultra-conservative wave. Former government ministers were elected.

“We will see a radically polarized second round,” predicts Bruna Santos of the Brazilian Institute, while Brazil is already very divided after four years of Bolsonaro’s tenure.

For Paulo Calmon, political scientist from the University of Brasilia, “the race is becoming even more open and promises a heated argument” and “Bolsonaro keeps all chances of re-election”.

Lula’s setback even gives Bolsonaro “an extra month to stir up trouble in the streets,” said Guilherme Casaroes of the Getulio Vargas Foundation.

He also thinks “Lula’s chances of being elected are much smaller”.

“We cannot rule out that Bolsonaro will mobilize his base and encourage him to go after Lula supporters,” agrees Mr. Shifter, an analyst at Inter-American Dialogue.

Between the two camps “there is a lot of resentment, hatred and it would not be surprising if this leads to unrest” while the campaign has already seen violence.

– hate polls –

Coming in 3rd and 4th place in the presidential election, Simone Tebet (MDB, centre-right), who received 4% of the vote, and Ciro Gomes (PDT, centre-left, 3%) are very much being courted.

“The voters of Simone Tebet and Ciro Gomes, about eight million people, will decide who will be the next president,” said Bruna Santos.

The first ballot will have confirmed Jair Bolsonaro’s hatred of the polls, which placed him far behind Lula for weeks.

“We got the polls to lie!” cheered the populist president on Sunday evening, who says he prefers to take Brazilians’ pulses on the street, at his big meetings or on walkabouts.

For Guilherme Casaroes, “the polling institutes that have given contradictory forecasts for both the presidential and state elections must reinvent themselves”.


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