Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has won the first round of elections in Brazil, but has not achieved a sufficient majority and will have to face Jair Bolsonaro’s extreme right in the second round. The candidate of the Workers’ Party (PT) has garnered 47.62% of the valid votes, not counting the white or null votes, according to the published results by the Superior Electoral Court (TSE). President Jair Bolsonaro remains at 43.89%, and will need to go to the second round to try to renew the mandate.
The close distance between the two favorites has surprised in the middle of the PT campaign in São Paulo, where better results were expected. The latest polls projected, in the last week, a victory for Lula da Silva in the first round, with 50% of the valid votes, and a distance of 14 points with his rival. But the difference of only four points opens up a much more complicated scenario for the PT than expected. Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, a six-time candidate for president, won neither in the 2002 nor in the 2006 elections in the first round.
The question now is where the votes of Simone Tebet, candidate of the Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB), the party of former president Michel Temer identified with the so-called center, a bloc of conservative parties with which the different governments need to agree in Congress to guarantee governability, which came in third place this Sunday with 4.26% of the votes. Although the MDB did not expect to enter the second round, Tebet’s candidacy has been the key to this political space to avoid taking a position for one of the two favorites, in order to weave their alliances in Congress with greater freedom depending on who wins. in this election.
Tebet becomes a candidate after a deep crisis in the Brazilian center-right, to which is added the fracture in the facts of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), of former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso, which was confirmed when several leaders of This party decided to support Lula’s candidacy and bring in Geraldo Alckmin, president of the PSDB until 2019 and Lula’s historic political rival, as vice president in the PT ticket.
Bolsonaro has gained an advantage in key regions of the country. As the polls projected, the president managed to outperform the PT candidate in the Southeast region, which concentrates more than 42% of eligible voters, made up of the states of São Paulo, Mina Gerais, Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo. In São Paulo, the main state in this region, the district with the greatest electoral weight in Brazil with 22% of all voters, the Brazilian president won 47.77% compared to 40.80% for Lula.
In Minas Gerais, second state in population in the country with 10.4%, Lula got an advantage over Bolsonaro with 47.96%. Bolsonaro was in a close place with 43.88%. While in Rio de Janeiro, a district controlled by Bolsonaro, the president got 50.87% against Lula’s 40.81%.
More than 156 million Brazilians were called to the polls to define the political direction of the main economy in Latin America. After the most tense and violent campaign in Brazilian history, Jair Bolsonaro is seeking re-election and Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva his third presidency.
The elections have been held with security reinforced by the Army in 568 of the country’s 5,570 municipalities, mostly in the Amazon region and in cities with high rates of violence such as Rio de Janeiro.
The vote has been with the electronic ballot box system, which was implemented in Brazil in 1996 without any evidence of fraud in all the elections since then, but Bolsonaro has questioned the security of this system and has indicated that he would recognize the result of the elections “if they were clean”.