Candidates Close Campaigns as Brazil Presidential Election Nears

October 5, 2018 Updated: October 5, 2018

Brazil’s presidential campaign entered its last 48 hours on Oct. 5, with right-wing front-runner Jair Bolsonaro’s lead growing before Oct. 7 vote, as candidates and supporters took part in final rallies.

Bolsonaro is recovering from a near-fatal knife attack while he was on the campaign trail.

Final opinion polls ahead of the vote on Oct. 7 are likely to reflect the most polarized election in a generation, forcing a run-off between Bolsonaro and leftist Workers Party candidate Fernando Haddad.

An Oct. 4 survey from pollster Datafolha found Bolsonaro had 35 percent support, a jump of three percentage points since Oct. 2. Haddad, his nearest rival, stood at 22 percent. The pair would be close in a runoff, Datafolha said.

Ibope said support for center-left candidate Ciro Gomes remained stable at 11 percent, while business-friendly former Sao Paulo governor Geraldo Alckmin dropped to eight percent.

Haddad, a former mayor of Sao Paulo, was confirmed at the top of the left-wing Workers Party ticket three weeks ago, replacing jailed former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who was barred from running due to a corruption conviction. He says he takes advice from Lula but denies any plans to pardon the former president or give him a role in government.