SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva would tie with Marina Silva in the runoff stage of the 2018 presidential elections, a poll published on Monday by the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper showed, though high rejection rates suggested strong voter disdain against politicians amid recent scandals.
The Datafolha poll asked voters about eight combinations of 12 potential candidates in a first-round vote. Lula, a member of the leftist Workers’ Party, takes all scenarios where he runs, with around 30 percent of support, despite facing several corruption trials.
Lula, who was Brazil’s president from 2003 to 2010, and Silva, a former senator who came in third in the past two presidential elections, each polled at 40 percent in a runoff scenario. Lula was in a statistical tie with anti-corruption federal judge Sergio Moro, who has vowed never to enter politics.
If Lula is found guilty of corruption by Moro, who is expected to issue a decision as soon as this month, and the ruling is upheld by an appeals court, he will be barred from running for public office. Silva easily wins all first-round vote scenarios in which Lula does not run.
The poll showed 46 percent of voters would not vote for the former president, the highest rejection rate among all candidates considered in the survey.
Many analysts see voter anger over corruption opening the door for a candidate from outside Brazil’s political establishment, along with the fact nearly all expected candidates are ensnared in a corruption investigation involving kickbacks from some of Brazil’s biggest companies.
That has reflected in increasing support for right wing, law-and-order congressman Jair Bolsonaro, who polled as high as 18 percent in some of the scenarios in the Datafolha poll. Still, he fails to win any potential runoffs.
The most recent poll interviewed 2,771 people across Brazil from June 21-23. The margin of error was 2 percent.
(Writing by Bruno Federowski)