Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the former president of Brazil, increased his lead against incumbent Jair Bolsonaro just ten days before elections, according to survey data released Thursday, edging closer to the 50% threshold required to avoid a runoff.
Lula increased two percentage points over the previous week, moving from 45 to 47 percent. According to the most recent Datafolha institute poll, Bolsonaro's support stayed steady at 33% both weeks.
In the first round of the October 2 election, Lula will be able to declare victory if he receives 50% of the vote (excluding blank or null ballots).
The study has a plus or minus two percentage point margin of error, and analysts continue to believe that a second vote is the most likely result.
Nonetheless in recent days “an environment favorable to a victory in the first political round has arisen,” Adriano Laureno, a political analyst at Prospectiva consulting firm told AFP.
The two candidates are running in Brazil’s most polarized presidential race in decades: Lula, a leftist who led the country from 2003 to 2010, is popular but tarnished by a corruption scandal, while the tactics of far-right Bolsonaro have earned the current president the nickname “Tropical Trump.”
If the election does advance to a second round it will be held on October 30.