Poll shows Brazil's Lula maintains strong lead in presidential race

FILE PHOTO: Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva gestures during an event with members of political parties and social movements in Porto Alegre
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By Steven Grattan

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazil's leftist leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is holding a strong lead against incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro for the October election, a Genial/Quaest poll released on Wednesday showed.

Lula has 46% voter support in a first-round vote, a 16-percentage-point lead over his far-right rival, with Bolsonaro two points down from his best showing in April.

In an expected run-off between them, Lula has widened his advantage to 22 percentage points and would win the election by 54% versus 32% for Bolsonaro, the Genial/Quaest poll said.

Other recent polls show Lula maintaining a solid lead in the first round and winning the election comfortably in the second round, by as much as 25 percentage points in the May Datafolha survey and by 10 points in the latest PoderData poll.

Analysts have said that Bolsonaro's questioning of Brazil's electronic voting system and clashes with the Supreme Court and the Superior Electoral Tribunal could be costing him the votes of Brazilian moderates and have diminished his gains in April.

Lula's lead against Bolsonaro narrowed slightly in some May polls, but he has quickly regained voter support.

The Genial/Quaest poll also showed that the negative view of Bolsonaro's government is at 47%, up from 46% in May, while the percentage of those who see the government in a positive light remained at 25%.

Pollster Quaest interviewed 2,000 voters in person between June 2 and June 5. The poll has a margin of error of 2 percentage points up or down.

(Reporting by Steven Grattan; Editing by Mark Porter)