Bloomberg — Brazil’s Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva inched closer to an outright win in this weekend’s presidential elections, a new poll found.
Front-runner Lula ticked upward, now claiming 48% of valid votes in the first round from 47% a week ago, according to a survey by FSB Pesquisa released on Monday. Incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro was unchanged at 37%.
If a candidate doesn’t take more than 50% of the ballot on Oct. 2 after removing both null and blank votes, the race will go to a runoff on Oct. 30.
Lula’s advance fell within the poll’s 2 percentage-point margin of error, but surveys widely show the former head of state gaining steam. Only about 2% of voters have yet to pick a candidate, though FSB Pesquisa found some 20 million could switch their preference last-minute.
“The number of voters who are still willing to change their voting decision in this final stretch is enough to change the outlook, which today points to a second round,” Marcelo Tokarski, director of the polling firm, wrote in a statement.
Candidates other than the current and former president hold 14% of total voter preference combined in the first-round, the poll found.
Analysts are closely watching how Brazilians will react to the final presidential televised debate slated for Thursday evening. Both Bolsonaro and Lula have said they will attend.
The poll, commissioned by investment bank BTG Pactual, interviewed 2,000 Brazilians between Sept. 23 and 25.
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