Datafolha, Brazil’s most reliable polling institute, has published its latest opinion poll ahead of the presidential election. At first glance, it would seem that support for former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is waning. Since September 2017, Lula has lost almost half of his most loyal supporters.
Electoral polls in Brazil usually follow the following structure: first, they ask voters to spontaneously say who would they vote for if the election were today. And only then voters are presented with multiple lists of candidates – each list representing a possible scenario.
The spontaneous part of the survey is very important, as voters who declare an allegiance to one candidate from the top of their heads tend to be less volatile. Lula’s “spontaneous voters” amounted to 18 percent of the electorate in September 2017 and now are only 10 percent. Meanwhile, far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro has passed ahead for the first time, with 12 percent.