Brazil’s bitterly divisive presidential election is headed for a runoff on October 30 as incumbent Jair Bolsonaro beat expectations to finish a closer-than-expected second to front-runner Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Lula, the veteran leftist seeking a presidential comeback, had 48.4 percent of the vote to 43.2 percent for the far-right president with more than 99 percent of polling station results in, according to the Superior Electoral Tribunal.
Lula, the popular but tarnished ex-president who led Brazil from 2003 to 2010, had been the favorite to win the race possibly in a single round. On the eve of the election, leading polling firm Datafolha had given Lula 50 percent of the vote to 36 percent for Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro hailed the result as a win. “We beat the lie today,” he told reporters, referring to the pre-vote polls. “Now the campaign is ours.I’m completely confident. We have a lot of positive accomplishments to show.”