Ruling party's candidate may win in first round in Brazilian elections

14:12, September 30, 2010      

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Four days before Brazil's general elections, the lead enjoyed by Dilma Rousseff, the presidential candidate of the ruling Workers' Party, slipped, but her chances of winning in the first round remain high.

In two of the three election polls released this week, Rousseff lost points in the voting intentions. She had been rising in all polls until early September, when a graft scandal caused her successor in the Chief of Staff office, Erenice Guerra, to step down.

According to a poll released by Ibope on Wednesday, Rousseff has 50 percent of voter intentions, the same as what was registered last week. Main opposition candidate Jose Serra got 27 percent, down from 28 percent in the previous poll. Support for Green Party's Marina Silva jumped from 12 to 13 percent.

If considering only the valid votes, Rousseff has 55 percent of voting intentions, against Serra's 30 percent and Silva's 14 percent. In that case, Rousseff would win the elections in the first round.

A CNT/Sensus poll released on Wednesday also favors Rousseff's victory in the first round: she has 54.7 percent of the valid votes, while Serra has 29.5 percent, and Silva has 13.3 percent.

However, a Datafolha poll released on Tuesday brought up the possibility of a second round. According to Datafolha, Rousseff has 51 percent of voting intentions based on only valid votes, while Serra has 32 percent, and Silva has 16 percent.

Given the poll's margin of error, which is two percentage points, Rousseff may actually have 49 percent of voting intentions. A candidate needs at least 50 percent of votes plus one to win in the first round.

Even though the government's candidate has been losing votes, the mainstream opposition has not benefited directly, as Serra's voting intentions have not increased significantly.

The most noteworthy growth has been registered in Marina Silva's figures. Silva, who used to be the environment minister in President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's administration, left the ruling Workers' Party after thirty years over disagreements on the environmental policy.

The course of the presidential election may be decided in the final TV debate, which will take place on Thursday evening in Brazil's leading TV station Globo. All three main candidates will participate in the debate. Candidate Plinio de Arruda Sampaio, from the Socialism and Freedom Party, has also confirmed his presence.

On Oct. 3, Brazilians will choose not only their new president, but also the state governors, House representatives and two thirds of the Senate. As Brazil's elections are almost fully carried out through voting machines, the results will be announced on the same day.

Source: Xinhua


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