Rousseff 'would win re-election without runoff'
Thursday, March 20, 2014
SAO PAULO - Brazil's incumbent president Dilma Rousseff would win a second term in office comfortably and without a runoff if this year's general elections were held today, an influential pollster in the country said on Thursday.
The Brazilian Institute of Public Opinion and Statistics, known better by its Portuguese initials - IBOPE, said that its survey of 2,002 people between March 13 and March 17 gave the current president a vote share of between 40 and 43 percent.
IBOPE gave those surveyed a variety of scenarios given not all candidates may yet have officially entered the race.
Rousseff's nearest rival was Aécio Neves, a senator from Minas Gerais state and member of the country's main opposition party, the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB). He would garner around 13 percent of the vote, the poll suggested.
Crucially, the IBOPE survey showed that many Brazilians have yet to make up their minds. Many responded that they would spoil their vote or they simply did not know yet.
Although the Brazilian election system would normally require a candidate to reach the 50 percent threshold in order to avoid a second round, the pollster said that Rousseff would get more votes than all other candidates.
Voting in the October 5 general elections, based upon which the president, deputies, senators, state governors and state legislatures are appointed, is mandatory but Brazilians can spoil their vote or not vote for a legitimate reason which they have to officially justify to the authorities.
The news will be welcomed by Rousseff and her Workers Party (PT), after her approval ratings slumped from over 60 percent towards the beginning of her presidency to just 31 percent in the wake of last year's mass anti-government protests, which saw over a million Brazilians take to the streets.
Some seven percent of respondents said they would vote for the former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, although he is not running and has backed Dilma Rousseff, whom he backed at the 2010 elections following his maximum two terms in office.
President Lula left office with approval ratings of 83 percent.
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