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10/8/18

Brazil 2018: Polling versus results in an interesting visual

Over at The IKN Weekly over the last few weeks, we diligently took a reading of the polling for the 2018 Brazil Presidential election every weekend and gave it a small space in the Regional Politics section. The Readings in this poll started on September 6th (the grey bars at the back) and came every weekend, apart from the last two earlier this week and then the result today (in red). It gives an interesting visual on the way the campaign swung sharply in the last few weeks:


  • We now know that far-right-wing candidate and now hot favourite to become the next President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, got 46.03% of votes yesterday Sunday. But at the start of the sampling on September 6th (with the Brazil opinion poll conducted September 1st to 3rd) Bolsonaro was still back at 22%. As late as September 29th he was polling a steady 28%, but something happened in literally the last few days of the campaign, some sort of crystallization. Two days before the vote, Brazil's normally reliable pollsters Datafolha had him on 36%. He ends up with 46%.
  • Once Fernando Haddad was shifted up by Lula from the Vice-President ticket to the President's and the "Haddad Is Lula" campaign kicked in, his voter intention rose sharply. But then it stalled with the final two readings at 22%. Therefore his final result of 29.27% will give his supporters some hope for the run-off vote in three weeks time, even though Bolsonaro needs to pick up just four extra clicks.
  • Ciro Gomes' campaign was pure inertia, at the 14% level for weeks and where he finished.
  • The right-wing Gerardo Alckmin faded badly and saw half of his real support and all the potential support he planned to pick up siphoned away to the very-right-wing Bolsonaro.
  • But even Alckmin's collapse is chickenfeed next to that of Marina Silva. it's worth remembering that just five weeks ago Silva was polling at 12% and though not front-runner at the time, she was in the mix for the coveted second spot and was being talked about as a serious alternative. She ended up with less than 1% of the vote, an impressive collapse.

Haddad's only real chance is to capture ALL the Gomes vote, then woo away a few of the people from Bolsonaro by recognizing they were voting in protest and doing something that appeals to them even more, then crossing his fingers. Nothing's impossible in politics and that's doubly true for LatAm politics, but it's a very tall order and this election is now Bolsonaro's to lose. Assuming that he wins, the continent has taken the recent right-shift results seen in Argentina, Chile and Colombia and lurched them a long way further to the right.