Bolsonaro Outperforms Polls To Force Runoff Election Against Lula For Brazilian Presidency

Defying polls, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro came in a close second in the presidential election against former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, forcing a runoff election between the two candidates.

Lula received 48.31 percent of the vote, while Bolsonaro garnered 43.3 percent. Simone Tebet, representing the Brazilian Democratic Movement, mustered 4.17 percent of the national vote.

Bolsonaro’s 43.3 percent took many by surprise, as polls leading up to the election estimated that the president would only receive 35 percent of the vote.

In Brazil, if the candidate does not receive above 50 percent of the popular vote, then the two top candidates enter a runoff election.

“I’ve never won an election in the first round, it’s like destiny wants me to work a bit more,” Lula said in response to the news. “We are going to win the elections again, it’s just a question of time.”

Bolsonaro did not seem as confident in his speech following the vote results.

“I know there’s a desire to change from people but there are certain changes that can be for the worse,” he said. “We tried to show that during the campaign but clearly that didn’t get through to the most important layers of society.”

The voter breakdown shows that Bolsonaro fared well in key urban areas. In São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Lula was predicted to receive 43 percent of the votes to Bolsonaro’s 33 percent. When the votes were cast, however, Bolsonaro took home 48 percent of the vote, while Lula only received 41 percent in these areas.

Many worry about the outbreak of violence if Lula takes back the presidency. Brazilian citizen Alessandro Ferreira Soares said he was ready to resort to violence if Bolsonaro did not remain president.

“There’s going to be beautiful blood spilled in this city,” Soares said. “I’m prepared to kill all the socialists and communists in the world.”