Brazil's presidential race: polarization

Far-right populist Jair Bolsonaro failed to secure an absolute majority in Sunday’s first round of presidential elections, setting up a decisive October 28 runoff between Mr. Bolsonaro and center-left Workers’ Party candidate Fernando Haddad.

Former Army captain Mr. Bolsonaro ended up with 47 percent of valid votes, three points shy of the overall majority he would have needed to be victorious in the first round. Second-place Fernando Haddad finished on 28 percent. Centrist Ciro Gomes, of the Democratic Labor Party, came in third with 12 percent.

The final numbers showed a steady increase in Bolsonaro’s support in comparison to the last opinion polls. Saturday evening’s polls had Jair Bolsonaro winning with between 40 and 41 percent of votes, with Fernando Haddad on 25 percent.

Sunday’s exit polls called Jair Bolsonaro on 45 percent of votes and Fernando Haddad on 28 percent, which was proved true, considering the margin of error of 2 percent.

The two candidates will now embark on three weeks of campaigning before the decisive second-round vote.

Arriving at his polling station in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday morning, Jair Bolsonaro appeared confident of a first-round victory, claiming that he would be “at the beach” come October 28.

Fernando Haddad, who cast his ballot in São Paulo, gestured towards rival candidates Ciro Gomes, Marina Silva, and Henrique Meirelles, in a bid to win their support for the runoff.

“I worked with [Mr. Gomes, Ms. Silva, and Mr. Meirelles] during the Lula government. I have the utmost respect and admiration for the work they did,” said Mr. Haddad. Recent polls suggest that 80 percent of Mr. Gomes’ voters would drift to the Workers’ Party candidate in the second round.

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PowerOct 07, 2018

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BY The Brazilian Report

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