Brazil's left-wing former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva would easily stride forward to a second round of voting in the 2018 presidential elections if they were held today, an Ibope poll showed on Sunday, proving the continued popularity of the former leader despite an ongoing graft trial.
The poll, published in the O Globo newspaper, showed left-wing Lula winning 35 to 36 percent of the vote in the October 2018 race regardless of the candidates he theoretically runs against.
Right-wing congressman Jair Bolsonaro, whose popularity has been spurred by rising violence in cities like Rio de Janeiro that were hard-hit by the country’s troubled economy, would win 15 percent if he faced off against Lula. The lawmaker favors tough measures to restore “law and order” in the country.
Lula rebounded from a lull in popularity due to his current country-wide campaign tour where he has drummed up support for other candidates in his Workers' Party.
The former head of state had left office with a record approval rating of 83 percent.
Marina Silva, the former environmental minister under Lula, would take third placed in any voting field that included Lula as a candidate with 8 to 11 percent of the vote. Silva would tie with Bolsonaro for first place if Lula were out of the picture.
Despite Lula’s popularity, his political future remains at risk after his July conviction on charges of receiving bribes from a construction firm in return for help winning government contracts. In August, he said his Workers Party might have to run a different candidate.
Ibope’s poll of 2,000 people in all of Brazil’s states was conducted between Oct. 18 and 22. It has a margin of error of two percentage points.