There are only three weeks left in the first round of the Brazilian presidential elections ( October, 7th), and some important events in recent days have changed the electoral scenario.
First of all the attack on 6 September in which Jair Bolsonaro, the candidate of the PSL, was seriously injured. The fact obviously created a national emotion, but did not transform Bolsonaro into a martyr. Indeed, according to the polls, the number of voters who would not vote for him under any circumstances (56%), especially among the younger ones, has increased. In any case, Bolsonaro consolidates the leadership in the polls, with 26% of the preferences.
Another event that strongly influenced the electoral landscape was the PT’s decision to finally replace Lula’s candidacy (technically ineligible) with that of Fernando Haddad. The immediate effect was that of leaping the voting intents for Haddad from 6 to 13%, a percentage that places Haddad in second position, on a par with Ciro Gomes.
The entry into the field of Haddad seems to have damaged above all Marina Silva, who until a month ago was alone behind Bolsonaro and who lost half of their preferences.
Here is the data of the Datafolha poll of 14/9/2018:
Alckmin, despite the beginning of the obligatory television propaganda that favors him, always trudges under 10% of the preferences and it seems increasingly improbable that late effort that can lead him to overcome with impetus Haddad and Gomes.
Taking for granted that Bolsonaro will be one of the two candidates in the run-off, the fight for the second place is the one that can decide what the winner of the second round of elections (which will take place on October 28th) will be. In fact, all the polls indicate that Bolsonaro does not have an electoral base that can allow him to exceed 50% of the votes; that is, in a possible second round, Bolsonaro would lose with all the main competitors. His extremist and populist positions, in fact, if on the one hand grant him consent from the most conservative electorate, on the other they provoke a very strong rejection, very difficult to overcome in these few weeks of electoral propaganda.
A Bolsonaro-Haddad scenario in the run-off, similar to the Lula-Bolsonaro one that a few months ago described as “the odd couple”, is increasingly probable and continues to be – in my opinion – the most dangerous and worst possible for Brazil. Although Bolsonaro enjoys the preferences of the markets, it would be very difficult for him to guarantee governability, not having sufficient political support to Parliament (the only party that supports him will elect very few MPs). In this scenario, the “Brazilian physiology”, a very sad phenomenon for which many parties support any governor in exchange for the direction of public institutions and financing projects, would lead to a government without a real program, driven only by personal interests and without any broad project . This is without considering the social consequences of the authoritarian and ultraconservative turning point supported by Bolsonaro.
On the other hand, the election of Haddad would bring the PT back to the government, whose nefarious economic policy has led Brazil to the worst crisis in its history. His culture of occupation of power and the thirst for revenge for the alleged “coup” that deposed Dilma Rousseff could have disastrous consequences for the economy and cause a heavy shock on the financial markets.