New poll shows major shake-up for Brazil election

The likely replacement for Eduardo Campos, killed in a plane crash last week, could make Brazil's presidential race a close-run thing.

New poll shows major shake-up for Brazil election

World Bulletin / News Desk

The likely replacement of Eduardo Campos, the Brazilian presidential candidate killed in a plane crash last week, could force a run-off vote with incumbent Dilma Rousseff, a poll has shown.

The results of the poll, released on Monday, showed that Marina Silva of the Brazilian Socialist Party, known as the PSB, would come second in the first round and tie with Rousseff in the run-off.

The Datafolha poll was the first since Campos’ death. It showed Rousseff would take 36 percent of votes in the first round on October 5, with Silva on 21 percent and Aecio Neves on 20 percent, meaning a second vote on October 26 between Rousseff and Silva.

The second round would then be technically tied, given a two point margin of error, with 47 percent for Silva and 43 percent for Rousseff.

A runoff against Neves would see Rousseff win with 47 percent to Neves's 39 percent.

Silva was Campos's running mate and is set to be announced as presidential candidate on Wednesday.

The additional votes for Silva are due to lower results for other parties; fewer undecided voters; and less people planning to spoil their ballot or not voting.

Chief Americas Analyst at the red24 crisis management company Nick Piper urged caution. He said: "Polls too far away from the actual vote are only indicative of what will happen. Early polling becomes even harder to draw conclusions from in the event of unexpected events.

"Silva hasn't won significant support from those who previously showed an intention to vote for Rousseff or Neves: their supporters are less likely to be swayed by an event such as a candidate dying than those who were sitting on the fence."

Many commentators predicted the shock of last week's plane crash, including ongoing TV coverage of the aftermath and Campos’ funeral, would boost support for Silva, who ran in the 2010 presidential elections for the Green Party and won 19 percent of the vote.

Maria de Socorro Braga, a political scientist at the Federal University of São Carlos, said: "The increase seen in this poll is the result of the emotion from the event itself. However, it had already been predicted that, were Silva to head the PSB ticket, she would overtake Neves -- and this should now stick."

Braga said the PSB support could fall once political broadcasts start this week. The party’s support also depends on the choice of a new running mate.

Although Rousseff’s share of the vote remained at 36 percent, not enough to secure victory in the first round, her government's approval rating saw an improvement, with 38 percent of voters now evaluating the rule coalition's performance as "good" or "excellent" - up from 32 percent in a previous poll.

However, many voters continue to reject Rousseff's politics and a fiscal policy blamed for Brazil’s slow economy.

As a previous environment minister and a former senator, Silva is better known to the electorate than Campos was and experts said she could lure younger voters and evangelical voters, who make up a growing section of the population.

Last Mod: 21 Ağustos 2014, 13:43
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