The former president is at 53% in the polls, the one in office at 47%
The polls for the presidential elections will open at 8 local time (12 in Italy) with which over 156 million Brazilians are called to choose between the new head of state in the ballot between the extreme right of the outgoing Jair Bolsonaro and the left of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
It is a Brazil divided into two opposing fronts that which is therefore preparing to go and vote. Polls predict Lula’s victory, with the latest reading indicating the former president at 53% and the current president at 47%. But a lot could depend on the undecided, such as the turnout. Without forgetting that the polls had already given Lula a winner in the first round, with an advantage of 14 points, while in reality the gap was smaller.
On 2 October Lula took the lead with 48%, followed by Bolsonaro with 43%. Furthermore, the vote showed how Bolsonaro’s far-right populism has now taken root in one part of the country: his Liberal Party was first in the Brazilian Congress, winning 99 of the 513 seats.
Among the new senators are several former Bolsonaro ministers, including the former justice holder, Sergio Moro, the judge who sentenced Lula for corruption in 2017, later declared “not impartial” by the Supreme Court when he overturned the former’s convictions. president. The Lula Workers’ Party, in coalition with the Greens and the Communist Party, obtained 80 deputies, 12 more than in the previous legislature.
More than in reference to the traditional themes of politics, including the economy, where Lula can rely on strong growth during his presidency (2003-2011), the election campaign took place in a climate of extreme ideological polarization, which in some ways recalls the last American presidential elections in the clash between the populist Donald Trump and an old lion of the left like Joe Biden. In Brazil, the tones are even more heated, on the web there are rumors of Lula satanist ready to close the churches, but also jokes that refer to Bolsonaro as a freemason or addicted to cannibalism. Lula has the support of a large part of the Catholic electorate, while Bolsonaro is supported by the growing evangelical movement.
And it is precisely an evangelical priest against the drift of the conflict, the pastor Valdinei Ferreira, who on the BBC coined the term “conspiritualism” to describe the mixture of religious values and conspiracy that animates many Bolsonaro voters.
There The violence of the confrontation is not only verbal, in a country where Bolsonaro has liberalized the personal possession of weapons. The Observatory for Political and Electoral Violence recorded 212 politically motivated attacks between July and September, including 12 murders. In the last election, Bolsonaro survived the stabbing of a deranged man. Last week a former deputy of his fired a rifle and threw grenades at police who wanted to arrest him after he violated house arrest. The fear is that, in the event of Lula’s victory, Bolsonaro will be tempted to imitate Trump, not recognizing the result and attempting to subvert him.
On Sunday, after a very tough election campaign that broke personal and family relationships, the floor passed to 156 million Brazilian voters. Their choice will also have strong relevance on a global level. Not only because Bolsonaro’s Brazil has isolated itself from the international community, but also because of the importance of the Amazon, certainly not protected by the incumbent president, in the face of the challenge of climate change. Finally, it should be remembered that for both candidates there is only one mandate. For Bolsonaro, the ban on holding more than two consecutive terms applies, while the 76-year-old Lula has repeatedly reiterated that, if elected, he will not reappear in 2026.