Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is pulling further ahead of incumbent Jair Bolsonaro less than two weeks before Brazilians cast their vote in the presidential election, according to the latest poll.
The leftist former president captured 44% of voter intention in the first round, up from 41% a week ago, while Bolsonaro held steady at 35%, a survey from FSB Pesquisa showed on Monday. There is little room for them to sway undecided voters: The poll found that just 3% of respondents haven’t yet picked their candidate.
Third- and fourth-placed candidates who had enjoyed a boost after a widely-watched televised debate on Aug. 29 appeared to be losing ground: Ciro Gomes dropped to 7% of voting intention while Simone Tebet fell to 5% — both losing 2 percentage points, within the survey’s margin of error.
As the campaign enters its final stretch, polls increasingly show Lula’s lead widening despite attempts by Bolsonaro, 67, to extend an olive branch to centrist and undecided voters. The right-wing president has struck a more conciliatory tone in recent speeches, and promised to commit billions more dollars to increasing social aid to the poor if elected for a second term.
Those efforts appear to be falling flat as Lula, 76, is trying to undercut the president’s support, stumping deep in the conservative south of the country. During campaign events over the weekend, the leftist leader said he held “deep respect” for Brazilian farmers and gave a nod to the armed forces.
A candidate needs to win more than 50% of valid votes on Oct. 2, otherwise a runoff will occur on Oct. 30.
The poll, commissioned by investment bank BTG Pactual, interviewed 2,000 people by phone across Brazil between Sept. 16 and 18. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.