lula bolsonaro
Former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (known as "Lula") may have come out ahead with 48.4 percent of the vote in the first round of Brazil's presidential election on Sunday, but the winner of the night might still be incumbent Jair Bolsonaro. With 43.2 percent of the ballot, the far-right leader comfortably beat pre-election polls and is now on course to face off with his leftist rival in a nail-biting run-off that few observers saw coming.

In the final run-up to the election, and after two months of tense campaigning in a deeply polarized Brazil, Lula's supporters were swept up with enthusiasm after poll after poll predicted he would easily win the presidency. Their confidence grew even further after a last-minute survey - published on the eve of the vote - indicated that the former president could win the first-round vote outright.

Comment: Hmmm... Reminds us of this:
clinton 90% poll 2016
© Reuters

But when the polls closed at 5pm local time, and the Brazilian left gathered en masse to watch a ballot count they were confident would sway sharply in Lula's favour, a tense wait began.

For three long hours, the Superior Electoral Court's website showed Bolsonaro in the lead. It was not until 8pm, and after 70 percent of the ballots had been counted, that Lula began to overtake him.

Comment: Hmmm... Reminds us of this:
wisconsin election fraud

At around 10pm, the ballots issued a clear verdict: The two candidates would meet in an October 30 run-off - and the race is expected to be as tight as it is unpredictable.

Comment: Expected, by who?? Brazilian corporatist media polls for Brazilian Senate and House results were off by up to 40%, so why do they 'expect' it to be 'tight' between Lula and Bolsonaro? They SHOULD be expecting a landslide victory for Bolsonaro, based on his party's Senate/House/gubernatorial landslide victories. But they're not. Hmmm, this also reminds us of the 'enigma' of how the GOP increased its vote share in all races in the 2020 elections, except - allegedly - the presidential one.

By 11pm Bolsonaro was declaring that he had "defeated the lies" of both pollsters and the media - repeating the same inflammatory rhetoric he had used on the campaign trail.

Just moments earlier, Lula had acknowledged the election would run into a second round, but told supporters to view it like the "extra time" in a football game, asserting that "we will win this election".

The fact that Brazilian polling stations had been almost overrun with voters on Sunday, with long queues forming outside, added to the Brazilian left's disappointment after hoping that high turnout would swing in Lula's favour to hand him a victory in the first round.

Comment: Just like in the US, the Brazilian left deludes itself into believing that the working class is on its side.

For several months, Brazilian polls had predicted Lula would come out some 15 percentage points ahead of Bolsonaro in the first round. It turned out those predictions were way off: With just over 43 percent of the ballots, Bolsonaro trailed Lula by just five percentage points. He also outperformed his first-round score in the 2018 elections, which he ultimately ended up winning.

Comment: That's not the whole story. The above is a 20% difference between poll numbers and reality. Glen Greenwald observed a 36% differential in the Senate race for Sao Paulo - again, in favor of the candidate from Bolsonaro's party. Especially in the msot populated areas of the Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro metropolis, Greenwald explains, 'Bolsonaristas' trounced leftist rivals whom the pollsters had 'predicted' would trounce them!

Bolsonaro's Liberal Party also made big gains in the elections for Congress - where it unexpectedly won the most seats, with 99 in total - and its candidates widely outperformed poll predictions in the vote for the Senate.

Comment: Again, 'unexpectedly' according to whom? Not the Brazilian people, obviously.

In Rio de Janeiro, Bolsonaro's pick for governor, Claudio Castro, won the first round outright, and in Sao Paolo, presidential favourite Tarcísio de Freitas came out on top and is now set for a run-off against Fernando Haddad, the candidate for Lula's Workers' Party in the 2018 presidential election.

According to Gaspard Estrada, director of the Political Observatory of Latin America and the Caribbean at Sciences Po university in Paris, the unexpected results can be attributed, in part, to "tactical" voting - voting for a major candidate rather than one with less of a chance.

"Just like in 2018, Bolsonaro did better than the polls predicted. I think he benefited from tactical voting in the first round and has probably run out of this reserve for the second round," Estrada said. "But we now have 30 days of campaigning ahead of us, and it will be tough, with many low blows. We can't rule out that the trend will be reversed, but for me, Lula remains the favourite."

Comment: Lula remains HIS favorite because 'experts' like him favor whomever the globalists favor. BRAZILIANS favor Bolsonaro because he was anti-lockdown, anti-mandate, and pro-freedom. It's a no-brainer! But, as usual in the 'new normal', they're rigging elections right in front of our eyes.

Both sides must now must focus on trying to win over the votes of the candidates that are no longer in the running, including from the centre-right's Simone Tebet (4.16 percent), the centre-left's Ciro Gomes (3.04 percent) as well as shoring up support among the 20.9 percent of voters who never turned up at the polls at all.

Eyes on three key areas

Some observers had feared that Bolsonaro, who in the run-up to the election had questioned the reliability of the country's electronic voting machines, would claim electoral fraud should he lose the first round by too much of a margin, and there were concerns he would urge his supporters to take to the streets to protest and even cause blockades around the country.

Comment: So they forestalled that scenario by making it look like Lula 'only just' beat Bolsonaro in the first round...

Many Brazilians steeled themselves for a long wait ahead of a second round in which Lula would ultimately be declared the winner.

But despite having come out on top in the first round, Lula has to work hard to keep his current advantage, especially in the key region of Sudeste.

"One of the keys in the second round will be for Lula to win back Sao Paolo, a state that the polls predicted would be his but which very clearly voted for Bolsonaro. He also needs to maintain his lead in Minas Gerais, and equalize in Rio de Janeiro," Estrada said, citing three key areas that represent about half the country's total electorate.

"It is in these states [...] that the election will be played out, because in the other states the results are in line with the polls," he explained.

Comment: If Lula wins the run-off presidential vote in Sao Paulo and Rio, it'll have been rigged.

Bulletproof vests

With his surprising first-round score, Bolsonaro is no longer the cornered candidate many polling institutes had predicted him to be - and he may now be less likely to allege election fraud. Instead, he is all too pleased to have proven his arch enemies - pollsters and the media - wrong, and is likely to keep up his rhetoric against them in the run-up to the second round.

Comment: Again we see that they know he knows they're rigging it...

The two candidates were set to embark on their final, month-long campaigns already on Monday.

"It will be verbally violent, I hope it won't get physically violent, but that can't be excluded," Estrada said. "You have to remember that that candidates have had to use bulletproof vests while campaigning lately, and that's not normal in a democracy."