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Polls suggest second-round likely following elections on October 7 in Brazil

Polls carried out between September 18 and September 26 suggest no clear winner in the upcoming elections on October 7. According to the Institute for Social, Political and Economic Research (Ipespe), whose latest poll was carried between September 24-26, Jair Bolsonaro from the Social Liberal Party (PSL) will obtain 28% of votes, above Fernando Haddad from the Workers’ Party (PT), who stands to secure 21% of votes. The Brazilian Institute of Public Opinions and Statistics (Ibope) carried out poll between September 22-23 and revealed the same outcome where Bolsonaro is 6 points ahead of Haddad. According to a previous poll conducted between September 18-19 by Datafolha, a different pollster, while Bolsonaro stands to win 22% of votes, Haddad will obtain 16%, tying with Ciro Gomes from the Democratic Labor Party (PTD). All pollsters indicate that no candidate is likely to pass the 50% threshold needed to secure the presidency. Therefore, while a second-round on October 28 is most likely to take place, at this point pollsters suggest different outcomes. Datafolha suggested that in the event of a runup between Bolsonaro and Gomes the latter would most likely secure victory. In turn, Ipespe and Ibope suggest that Haddad would likely defeat Bolsonaro.

Although polls reveal shifting trends in candidate’s popularity, they are known to be fallible and therefore their outcomes cannot be taken for granted. However, Datafolha is considered more prestigious due to the fact that it conducts face-to-face interviews, while others rely on telephone surveys. Although some suggest people tend to be more honest over the phone, in Brazil poorer voters have less access to landlines and are thus more excluded from opinion surveys. In any event, the abovementioned data suggests Bolsonaro and Haddad will likely remain the main contestants during a second-round. However, following Datafolha’s findings, Gomes is also likely to face Bolsonaro. If so, Brazil would have to choose between two candidates disliked by investors, either due to perceived populist agendas or commitments toward widening public expenditures. That said, at this point pollsters seem to agree that Bolsonaro is likely to lose against either candidate in a second-round.

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