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Lula leads new poll, but abstention makes gap to Bolsonaro smaller

A Quaest poll released on Thursday shows former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva with 48 percent of voting intentions for the October 30 second-round election, with incumbent Jair Bolsonaro on 41 percent. The result indicates a decrease in the gap between the two candidates. Before the first round vote, the same survey showed a difference of 11 percentage points, now cut to 7.

Regarding valid votes, Lula’s lead sits at 54-46, per Quaest.

But 24 percent of the interviewed sample admitted they did not vote in the first round. This segment of the electorate is more inclined toward Lula. Sunday’s abstention rate was the highest in 28 years, and this may have influenced the outcome of the election, as The Brazilian Report explained last week.

Among the population with a monthly income of up to BRL 3,000 (USD 576), almost a third (28 percent) admitted they did not show up to vote or spoiled their ballot. Lula leads with 43 percent support in this bracket. As for the wealthiest segment of the population, only 16 percent did not choose a candidate, and Mr. Bolsonaro was favored by 44 percent.

If abstention rates hold, it is possible that polls will once again fail to properly capture the president’s support. Since the first round, pro-Bolsonaro politicians have led an assault on polling institutes, suggesting that predict pollsters that fail to accurately results must face punishment.

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