There are four days to go until the second round of the Brazilian presidential elections (30 October 2022) and the game between Lula and Bolsonaro is still open.
The latest IPEC poll (ex-Ibope), held between 22 and 24 October, shows Lula with 50% of voting intentions, Bolsonaro with 43%, 5% of blank / void ballots and 2% of undecided. Considering only the valid votes, Lula has 56% of the preferences, against 44% of Bolsonaro.
The Paranà Pesquisas poll, which took place between 20 and 24 October, instead shows Lula with 46.3% of voting intentions, Bolsonaro with 45.9%, 4.8% of blank / null ballots and 3% of undecided. Considering only the valid votes, Lula has 50.2% of the preferences, against 49.8% of Bolsonaro.
It must be considered that the polls that preceded the first round of the elections did not photograph what actually happened in the polling booths. Most saw Lula in a strong advantage over Bolsonaro, the polls found a difference of only 5% between the two candidates.
In the last few weeks, the perception of a certain recovery of Bolsonaro is evident. Expertly advised, the incumbent president has abandoned the violent and flamboyant rhetoric, assuming a calm and reassuring posture with the clear aim of obtaining the vote of the undecided.
In the October 16 televised face-to-face on the TV Band, Bolsonaro had a very positive performance, often putting his rival in trouble and showing unexpected dialectical ability. So much so that, in the subsequent debate on 23 October at TV Record, Lula decided not to participate (leaving an hour at Bolsonaro’s full disposal).
The last, and perhaps decisive, debate will be on October 28 on TV Globo.
The financial markets, as always, vote before ordinary voters. And their vote is for Bolsonaro. With the reduction of its gap from Lula and with the emergence of a possible re-election scenario, in the week from 17 to 21 October the Brazilian stock market gained 5.6% and the real appreciated by 3% against the dollar.
After the very serious episode involving the deputy Roberto Jefferson (Bolsonaro’s main ally who on October 23 had the nice idea of welcoming the policemen who had to arrest him for not respecting several decisions imposed by the STF – Supremo Tribunal Federal), the stock market fell in two days (24 and 25 October) by 4.5% and the real depreciated by 3% against the dollar.
In this situation of extreme volatility and uncertainty, the most prudent behavior is to wait for the result of the polls, knowing that - after an initial emotional reaction - the markets will return to normalization within a few weeks.