A CNT/MDA poll published on Saturday indicates that Lula would obtain 48.3% of the valid votes, which statistically places him one step away from obtaining half of the votes, which would prevent a second round. The poll has a margin of error of 2.2 percentage points.
If none of the 11 candidates obtains more than 50% of the votes, excluding blank and invalid votes, the two favorites – almost certainly Lula and Bolsonaro – would advance to the second round on October 30.
The MDA poll, commissioned by the national transport lobby group CNT, shows that Bolsonaro has cut half of Lula’s lead, which has shrunk to 7.9 percentage points (44.2% for Lula and 36.3% for Bolsonaro).
Two other big pollsters, Datafolha and IPEC, have projected an absolute victory for Lula.
Bolsonaro, a former army captain who spent 28 years as a deputy and who is pro-gun, anti-gay and anti-abortion, was swept away in 2018 by a wave of conservative sentiment and opposition to Lula’s Workers’ Party.
On Saturday, he will close his re-election campaign with two motorbike rallies of supporters in Sao Paulo and Joinville, in the state of Santa Catarina.
Lula’s Workers’ Party, meanwhile, has reserved a space on São Paulo’s main Paulista avenue on Sunday night to celebrate the victory of the 77-year-old former union leader and party founder.
Brazil’s electronic voting system, which Bolsonaro has repeatedly criticized as vulnerable to fraud without providing evidence, allows the national electoral authority, the TSE, to rapidly tally results hours after the polls close at 5 p.m. :00 GMT).
The head of the TSE, Supreme Court Judge Alexandre de Moraes called on Brazilians on Twitter to celebrate the country’s democracy by turning out to vote “in peace, security and harmony, respect and freedom.”
Due to Bolsonaro’s attacks on the voting system and the prospect of conflict, the TSE has invited an unprecedented number of international observers to this year’s elections.