Protest Votes Grow Ahead of Brazil’s Election

(Bloomberg) -- The number of Brazilians who intend to cast a protest vote or remain undecided is growing just three months ahead of presidential elections, a survey published by political news website Poder360 showed.

The poll conducted between June 25-29 found that 31 percent of the respondents intend to annul their vote, a higher percentage than what the leading candidate would receive, while 9 percent remain undecided. It compares to 28 percent and 8 percent, respectively, in a previous survey carried out in May.

Protest Votes Grow Ahead of Brazil’s Election

After years of corruption scandals and economic crisis, Brazilians are increasingly disillusioned about the political class. Without former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is jailed for corruption and likely to be barred from running, there’s considerable dispersion of votes among the top contenders. Combined, those factors make this the most unpredictable election since the end of Brazil’s military regime, according to a recent study by Itau Unibanco bank.

Bolsonaro Leads

The scenarios presented by Poder360 do not include Lula, who remains as the front-runner in other opinion polls. In his absence, far-right congressman Jair Bolsonaro leads the poll with 21 percent in the scenario that includes the six most competitive candidates. He is followed by left-wing former Ceara Governor Ciro Gomes with 13 percent. Former Sao Paulo Governor Geraldo Alckmin, a market favorite, comes third with 8 percent of voting intention.

The poll showed Bolsonaro losing some support from May, when he had 25 percent of voting intention. He would still beat any of his contenders in a second-round vote, according to Poder360.

The survey was based on 5,500 interviews carried out through automated phone calls. The margin of error is plus or minus two percentage points.

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