Lula’s lead over Bolsonaro narrows ahead of Brazil’s October election -poll

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BRASILIA, Feb 16 (Reuters) – Leftist former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s lead has narrowed to 9 points from 14 in one month, but he would still win a second-round runoff soundly if Brazil’s election were held today, according to a new poll published on Wednesday.

Lula is expected to challenge far-right incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro in the October vote. Both men are already in campaign mode, although neither has declared his candidacy.

In a polarized field, Lula has campaigned on the advances in reducing poverty during his two-term presidency from 2003 to 2010, while Bolsonaro has recently ramped up government spending on social programs that helped his popularity in the pandemic.

The survey by PoderData, the polling division of news website Poder360, said 40% of voters would vote for Lula, versus 31% for Bolsonaro. In January, the survey found 42% support for Lula and 26% for Bolsonaro.

Other pollsters, such as Quaest and Ipespe, have registered little or no variation in support for Bolsonaro and Lula, who could have enough support for a first-round victory in some recent simulations.

Bolsonaro’s former Justice Minister Sergio Moro, who as a federal judge jailed Lula on corruption charges that were later annulled, was favored by 9% of voters in the survey, two percentage points higher than in the previous poll.

Center-left candidate Ciro Gomes, a former governor of Ceara state vying for the left-wing supporters disillusioned with Lula, dropped 3 percentage points to 4% of those surveyed, just one point ahead of Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria.

PoderData polled 3,000 voters by telephone in 243 cities between Feb. 13-15. The survey has a margin of error of 2 percentage points.

(Reporting by Anthony BoadleEditing by Bill Berkrot)

Photo – The former president of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. EPA-EFE/Juan Ignacio Roncoroni

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