Poll shows Rousseff closing Silva's lead in Brazilian election

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff of the ruling workers' party (PT) and her main challenger Marina Silva are in a "technical tie" less than a month before the October presidential election, the latest MDA poll showed.

Silva became the center-left PSB party candidate after the death in a plane crash last month of the party's original contender Eduardo Campos. Silva had been Campos' vice presidential running mate.

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The MDA poll showed Rousseff winning the first round of voting with 38.1%. Silva remains in the second place with 33.5%, while senator Aécio Neves from the center-right PSDB would come in third with 14.7%.

Under such a scenario, in which no candidate wins more than 50% of the total, a second round would be held on October 26 between the top two candidates.

The poll showed that Silva would win a likely runoff election against Rousseff with 45.5% of the vote against 42.7% from the incumbent, a statistical tie within the poll's margin of error.

Silva's entry into the presidential race has changed the election scenario, as Campos had polled at only around 9% in the first round. Neves was then seen as the main threat to Rousseff.

Silva is a seasoned politician who finished third in the 2010 presidential election, with close to 20% of the vote. She is also a well-known local environmentalist who is not considered part of the traditional political establishment.

Despite the results, 49% of those surveyed said they believed Rousseff would win the election, followed by 34.9% for Silva and 6.2% for Neves.

Last month's Ibope poll showed Rousseff gaining more votes than Silva in the first round – but Silva winning in a second round with 45% of the votes compared with 36% for the president.