General elections were held on October 2nd, 2022 in Brazil to elect the President, Vice President, the National Congress, the Governors, Vice Governors, and Legislative Assemblies. The two main candidates were former president Lula da Silva and current President Jair Bolsonaro. In this first round, Lula came in first with 48.4% (57 million votes) and Bolsonaro came in second with 43.2% (51 million votes). The two of them will have to face each other in a run-off that will take place on October 30th.
The two candidates have around 3 weeks between elections to convince the 8% who voted for the other two candidates to vote for them, but experts say it will be more important for them to convince people that didn’t vote in the first round to go out and vote - the level of absenteeism in this election was the highest in over 20 years.
Though second, Bolsonaro did better than expected, and better than the polls had predicted. The difference between the two leading candidates was expected to be around 15%, rather than the 5% seen in the results. Many of Bolsonaro’s allies and endorsed candidates won important seats in Congress and local governments. Additionally, several candidates who had supported him in 2018 and then became opponents of his lost in this election. Bolsonaro was also expected to question the legitimacy of the electoral system if he didn’t win, and he hasn’t done so. At least not yet.
Now, with 18 days to go before the election, the most recent poll gives Lula 52% of the votes, but that number is expected to increase as he has received endorsements from the two candidates who came second and third: Simone Tebet and Ciro Gómes. These endorsements from the former candidates are expected to be decisive in propelling him to victory. In that same poll, Bolsonaro received 48%. Another poll, conducted by IPEC, a private firm, has Lula 10 points ahead of Bolsonaro. The outlook is not good for President Bolsonaro, but with 3 weeks to go and the inaccuracy of polling data in the first round, things can still change between now and October 30th.