Brazilian leader Dilma Rousseff’s support fell as the number of undecided voters increased ahead of October’s presidential election. Equity markets rallied.
Rousseff’s support fell to 34 percent this month from 37 percent in May, according to a Datafolha poll published today on Folha de Sao Paulo’s website. Senator Aecio Neves of the Social Democracy Party had 19 percent, down from 20 percent, while Eduardo Campos of the Socialist Party fell to 7 percent from 11 percent. The number of voters without a preferred candidate rose to the highest in any election in 25 years.
“Brazilians have a negative outlook, particularly regarding the economy, but many haven’t chosen a candidate yet,” Mauro Paulino, executive director at Datafolha, said in a phone interview. “The race has become the most unpredictable in decades.”
Almost four years of above-target inflation and the slowest economic growth in more than two decades have eroded Rousseff’s support. Her lead over Neves fell to 15 percentage points in today’s poll from 28 percentage points in February. At the same time, unemployment near a record low and expanded welfare spending have helped her maintain a lead.
The Bovespa stock index rose 2.6 percent at 2:06 p.m. Brasilia time. The real gained 0.7 percent against the U.S. dollar to 2.2462 per U.S. dollar.
The Rousseff administration is considered good or very good by 33 percent of those people polled by Datafolha, down from 35 percent in May and 41 percent in February.
All of Rousseff’s challengers together garnered 35 percent, a gap from the front-runner that is within the two-percentage-point margin of error in the June 3-5 survey of 4,337 people. To win in the first round a candidate needs to have more than 50 percent support, or more votes than all other candidates combined.
Rousseff’s lead over Neves in a possible run-off vote that would be held on Oct. 26 fell to eight percentage points from 27 percentage points in February, Datafolha showed.
The number of voters who said they haven’t decided or plan to cast a blank vote rose to 30 percent, the most at this point in the election cycle since 1989.
Brazil’s economy will expand 1.5 percent this year from 2.3 percent in 2013 as inflation accelerates to 6.47 percent, according to the median estimate of about 100 analysts polled in the latest central bank survey.
The percentage of those people concerned with inflation rose to 64 percent from 58 percent in the previous Datafolha poll, Paulino said. Consumer prices as measured by the IPCA index, rose by a more-than-expected 0.46 percent in May, the national statistics agency said today.
Polling firm MDA is also conducting a survey on the electoral race this next week, according to the website of the Superior Electoral Tribunal.
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