The Socialist Party’s nominee Marina Silva looks set to give incumbent President Dilma Rousseff a run for her money in next month’s Brazilian elections.
According to a pre-poll survey by Datafolha, Silva is on course to beat President Rousseff by seven percentage points in the run-off, which analysts say is inevitable.
But Datafolha predicts a narrow win for Rousseff in the first round of elections, scheduled for October 20. Rousseff is in line to claim 37% of the vote against Silva’s 33% in the first round, according to another poll from Ibope. Silva will, however, defeat Rousseff by 48% to 41% in the second round, according to Datafolha.
The report comes at a time when Latin America’s biggest economy appears to be slipping into recession. It seems soaring inflation, a sluggish economy and excessive investment on sporting infrastructure have dimmed the current president’s re-election prospects.
Such an outcome would cap a meteoric rise by Silva, who was only given the Socialist Party nomination after her running mate Eduardo Campos died in a plane crash earlier in August.
It seems Campos’s sudden death and ongoing corruption scandals are also playing a role in diminishing Rouseff’s re-election hopes. Moreover, the election has come at a bad time for Rousseff because economic analysts are of the belief that Brazil has already entered a recession.
The latest figures showed GDP fell by 0.6% in the three months to June, worse than analysts had predicted. Two consecutive quarters of contraction is an indication of recession. The data showed that civil construction, manufacturing and investment especially suffered during the second quarter.
Whoever wins the next elections, the country will need large-scale reforms to put the economy back on track.