2022 Race

New poll shows Lula’s lead growing even bigger

lula poll ipec
Lula is polling at 47 percent, according to Ipec. Photo: Ricardo Stuckert/IL

Renowned Brazilian pollster Ipec, published its latest reading of the presidential race on Monday night. According to the institute, the probability of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva clinching the race in a first-round landslide on October 2 has increased. In Brazil, if no candidate gets a majority of votes, then the top two contenders qualify for a runoff election (this year scheduled for October 30).

A week ago, Lula was polling 2 points ahead of all other candidates combined (46-44), a lead that increased by a percentage point in Ipec’s latest survey. Two weeks ago, Lula was behind the sum of his adversaries. 

The most recent numbers suggest that Lula’s strategy to incite voters to engage in tactical voting to unseat President Jair Bolsonaro in the first round is working. The incumbent remained parked at the same 31 percent from last week.

To win over voters, Lula has attracted the endorsement of politicians from the far-left to the pro-market right. Earlier Monday, he hosted eight former presidential candidates supporting his bid for a third term.

Per Márcia Cavallari, CEO of Ipec, whether or not Lula can pull off a first-round win will depend on turnout. If poorer voters show up in large numbers, more inclined to vote for Lula, his chances of winning it all on October 2 increase.

While voting is mandatory in Brazil, it is relatively easy for voters not to show up at polling stations — they must justify their absence and, if they fail to do so before Election Day, they pay a symbolic fine. However, in recent years, electoral authorities have made it easier for voters to justify their absence — they can do so through a smartphone app.

President Jair Bolsonaro hoped that his September 7 rallies in Brasília, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro would fire up his base and attract new voters. But the most respected pollsters show he may have hit his ceiling at the low-30s.

During the weekend, Mr. Bolsonaro renewed his attacks on the credibility of Brazil’s voting system. He said the only possible outcome of the election would be him winning in a first-round landslide. Any other outcome would mean “something abnormal” happened with the vote count.

His entourage echoed his words. Communications Minister Fábio Faria tweeted: “Superior Electoral Court, take note of the numbers Ipec is publishing; on October 2, the population will call for the closure of this institute. No more absurdity in electoral polls!!! The moment of truth is coming.”