Rise of third-way candidates increases chances of second round

Rise of third-way candidates increases chances of second round
Rise of third-way candidates increases chances of second round
In the midst of Lula-Bolsonaro polarization, polls of intention to vote show growth in Ciro and Tebet (photo: Miguel SCHINCARIOL / AFP)

The vote intention polls released this week, if they did not show significant changes in the dispute between former president Luiz Incio Lula da Silva (PT) and the current one, Jair Bolsonaro (PL), left campaign strategists facing a scenario, so far, little considered: the rise of the so-called third way candidates — Ciro Gomes (PDT), Simone Tebet (MDB) and Soraya Thronicke (Unio Brasil). Although the chances of a turnaround in the intermediate positions are small, the conquest of voters outside the Lula-Bolsonaro polarization is beginning to show vigor to take the dispute to the second round.

The most recent survey by Instituto DataFolha, released on Thursday, shows Lula ahead of Bolsonaro with a 13 percentage point advantage (45% to 32%). This difference reached 21 points in May, but the president managed to advance, from there to here, five spaces on the success board, while the opponent remained practically stable, with a retreat of three percentage points (within the margin of error) .

The bad news for Lula is that the sum of the votes of the other candidates (49%) exceeds, for the first time, his own score in the poll. Numbers that, if confirmed at the polls, would lead the election to a second round decision.

The novelty is Simone Tebet’s progress beyond the institutes’ margin of error. Since she launched her name by the self-styled democratic center (MDB coalition / PSDB-Cidadania federation / Podemos), the senator from Mato Grosso do Sul has been slipping between 0% and 2% in voter preference. With the beginning of mandatory electoral propaganda on radio and TV and the good performance in the interview he gave to Jornal Nacional, on TV Globo, and in the first debate between presidential candidates, on TV Band, Tebet made a small jump to 5% of the intentions of vote.

Ciro Gomes also advanced, at the limit of the margin of error: he had 7% and went to 9%. At Thronicke won her first spot in the polls, she who entered the campaign late and was practically unknown to the electorate until she called Bolsonaro a chutchuca in the presidential debate and went viral on social media.

The slight advance of the third way was also detected by IPEC three days earlier. The institute (founded by specialists from the former Ibope) found stability in the voting intentions of both Lula and Bolsonaro (44% to 32%, percentages equal to the previous poll, released on the 15th). Tebet and Ciro, however, are up one percentage point from the survey two weeks ago.


According to analysts, the latest figures show that the growth of third-way candidates, even modest, has the potential to prevent Lula from winning, in the first round, half of the valid votes.

For political scientist Leonardo Barreto, “the key to the second round lies with the third way”, which captures voters who are still undecided and reduces Lula’s margin of early victory. “There will be a second round, it will be tight, but the vote transfer processes are still not clear,” he said.

For Bolsonaro, this was the only good news from the latest polls. His team expected public money to be poured into the so-called package of kindnesses (increase in Auxlio Brasil to R$600, increase in the gas voucher, forced reduction in the price of gasoline and vouchers for truck drivers and taxi drivers) and the improvement of economic indicators (falling unemployment, deflation and growth in the Gross Domestic Product-GDP) boost the president’s growth. But this ascent did not come at the desired speed and intensity.

“I’m sure that Bolsonaro gets to the first round ahead. I have no doubt. With 15 days into the electoral program, the election will be tied”, predicted the Chief Minister of the Civil House, Ciro Nogueira, in an interview with Correio at the beginning of August. Now, the crowd is waiting for the election not to be decided on October 2nd.

In the campaign committees, no one speaks in the second round. But the report found that, in relation to the leader, the strategy is still targeting Bolsonaro as an opponent to be deconstructed and insisting on comparisons between governments. In this way, it preserves channels of dialogue with Ciro Gomes and Simone Tebet in case the election is not decided now.

For Bolsonaro’s team, the goal is to prevent Lula from winning the first round and, with more campaign time, to capitalize on the good winds of the economy, in addition to capturing the anti-PT vote, in a rerun of the “us against them” dispute.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Rise thirdway candidates increases chances

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