Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva stands out as an undefeatable candidate for next October’s election according to two of the country’s most respected public opinion pollsters.
A runoff would only take place if the centrist Partido do Movimento Democrático Brasileiro, PMDB, decides to field its own presidential candidate according to the DataFolha from the daily newspaper Folha de S. Paulo.
The poll shows that even if PMDB presents a candidate, who would take votes from Mr. Lula da Silva, favoring Social-democrat and former São Paulo governor Geraldo Alckmin in the runoff, he would defeat any of the candidates.
Pollster Sensus also paints a similar scenario although Lula would manage to garner sufficient votes to win the first round and eventually the runoff.
These opinion polls come as a blow to the Brazilian Social-democrat Party of former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso who is hopeful of defeating Lula and retaking office.
Lula has yet to announce his bid for re-election but the political establishment in Brazil is acting for granted.
According to DataFolha with no PMDB candidate, Mr. Lula would defeat Mr. Alckmin, 45% to 22% in the first round, and if PMDB does intervene it’s not clear what would happen. But Lula would comfortably win in the runoff 52% to 35%.
DataFolha’s poll interviewed 6.000 people in 258 Brazilian municipalities, between Tuesday and Wednesday this week with a margin error of plus/minus 2%.
Sensus surveyed 2.000 people in 195 municipalities in all Brazilian states, from May 18 to 21 with a plus/minus margin error of 3%. According to Sensus Lula would defeat Mr. Alckmin 40.4% to 18.7%.
PMDB, which has a plurality in the Senate, the second-largest number of seats in the lower house and the largest number of regional governments, will decide in a national convention June 11 whether to nominate its own candidate for president or join forces with Lula’s Workers’ Party or the Social-democrats.
Lula’s vote preference is currently at roughly the same level it was at the end of May 2002, four months before he won the first round of presidential voting with 46.5% of the ballots and subsequently captured the presidency in a runoff with 61%.
His popular standing suffered last year following corruption allegations that rocked the ruling party and allies forcing the resignation of some of his closest associates for bribing votes in Congress.
Mercopress – www.mercopress.com