Power

The roller-coaster of vote counting in Brazil

The way votes are counted in Brazil means it is not uncommon for the ultimately winning candidate to be lagging behind their opponent in the first hours after polls close

runoff election Supporters of former President Lula gathered on Paulista Avenue to celebrate a first-round landslide that never was. Photo: Julia Laüer/TBR
Supporters of former President Lula gathered on Paulista Avenue to celebrate a first-round landslide that never was. Photo: Julia Laüer/TBR

Supporters of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva got together towards the end of Election Day on Sunday, hoping to witness a first-round win for their candidate. All leading pollsters had indicated that this might be possible — they projected that Lula could receive more than 50 percent of the vote in the first round of the presidential vote, above the threshold for winning an election outright and avoiding the need for a runoff with the second-placed candidate. 

However, the Superior Electoral Court’s initial results, released just after polls closed at 5 pm, put incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro in the lead...

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