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Lula and the ’empowerment of consumption’

Throughout the lead-up to Brazil’s first round of elections, one consistent finding from opinion polls was particularly eye-opening, not solely because of its potential impact on the final vote, but also in the way it helped define the make-up of this massive, unequal country.

Across income brackets drawn up by pollsters, incumbent far-right President Jair Bolsonaro enjoyed leads of varying sizes in all but one of them: those who earn between zero and twice the minimum wage. This demographic favored former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva instead, and the sheer size of the poorest strata of Brazil’s population…

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