World Bulletin / News Desk
Brazil's fiery left-wing former president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, retains a strong lead ahead of presidential elections despite his conviction on graft charges, according to an opinion poll Wednesday.
Even with the scandal, Lula remains a clear frontrunner, the respected Datafolha pollsters found in the first survey taken since the appeals court decision.
In the poll, published by Folha de S. Paulo newspaper, Lula would get between 34 and 37 percent of votes in a first round on October 7.
This is easily ahead of right-wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro, who polls with 16 to 18 percent, according to Datafolha.
A crowded field is disputing third place in the poll, including environmentalist Marina Silva, leftist Ciro Gomes, and Sao Paulo Governor Geraldo Alckmin, from the establishment center-right party PSDB.
In a second round on October 28 -- if Lula were allowed to run -- the former president would easily defeat Bolsonaro by 49 to 32 percent, Datafolha found.
If Lula were absent, Bolsonaro would lose easily to Silva in the runoff round, Datafolha said, while losing by just two percentage points against Alckmin.
The poll was carried out this week with 2,826 respondents and a two percentage point margin of error.
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