BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazilian former leftist leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has a comfortable lead in the polls heading into next year’s October presidential election, with right-wing incumbent Jair Bolsonaro nearly 30 percentage points down, according to a poll released on Tuesday.
If the vote were held today, 48% percent of respondents said they would vote for Lula, as the former president is widely known, while 21% would vote for Bolsonaro, according to the survey by pollster Inteligencia em Pesquisa e Consultoria (IPEC), which was published on news website G1.
Sergio Moro, a former anti-corruption judge who helped put Lula in jail before joining Bolsonaro’s administration only to fall out with the conservative leader, came in third with 6% of the vote.
In a second scenario in which minor candidates were not listed as options, Lula received 49% of the hypothetical vote versus 22% for Bolsonaro. Moro came in third with 8%.
The poll is largely in line with an IPEC poll released in June and shows Bolsonaro struggling to regain traction with voters after his popularity tanked earlier this year, in part due to his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed over 600,000 Brazilians.
It also highlights Lula’s striking reversal of fortunes in recent years. In jail when Bolsonaro was elected in 2018, Lula, who governed Brazil from 2003 through 2011, has since had his corruption convictions thrown out by the Supreme Court, allowing him to run for another term.
IPEC interviewed 2,002 people from Dec. 9-13 in 144 towns throughout Brazil. The survey has a margin of error of 2 percentage points.
(Reporting by Maria Carolina Marcello in Brasilia and Gram Slattery in Rio de Janeiro; Editing by Leslie Adler)