September 30, 2014 / 10:30 PM / 4 years ago

Brazil's Rousseff widens lead over Silva in fresh polls

BRASILIA/SAO PAULO (Reuters) - President Dilma Rousseff has solidified her lead over opposition candidate Marina Silva and would win a runoff vote to Brazil’s presidential election, two new polls showed on Tuesday.

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff takes a selfie with workers during a visit to the Rio 2016 Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro September 30, 2014. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

A survey by pollster Datafolha showed Rousseff with 49 percent support, compared with 41 percent for Silva in a simulation of an expected second-round vote, doubling the 4 percentage-point lead Brazil’s first female president had in the previous poll released last Friday.

According to a poll by Ibope that was commissioned by media conglomerate Globo Comunicações, Rousseff could garner 42 percent of the votes in a runoff, compared with Silva’s 38 percent. In the prior Ibope poll a week ago, Rousseff and Silva were tied at 41 percent.

Brazilians go to the polls on Sunday, but if no candidate wins an outright majority the election will be decided in a runoff between the top two vote-getters on Oct. 26.

In recent days, Rousseff overtook her contender as her ruling Workers’ Party stepped up criticism of Silva’s government program and, in TV ads and at campaign rallies, questioned her track record. Silva was made the Brazilian Socialist Party’s candidate following the death of former governor and presidential candidate Eduardo Campos in an August plane crash.

According to Datafolha, Rousseff’s support in the first-round ballot was unchanged at 40 percent, while that for Silva fell to 25 percent from 27 percent in the previous poll. Centrist candidate Aecio Neves gained 2 percentage points to 20 percent, Datafolha said.

Ibope found that support for Rousseff reached 39 percent in the first-round vote, compared with 38 percent a week ago. Support for Silva slipped to 25 percent from 29 percent, while support for Neves remained unaltered at 19 percent.

Datafolha surveyed 7,526 voters on Monday and Tuesday and its poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points. The poll was commissioned by TV Globo and the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper.

The new Ibope poll surveyed 2,002 respondents nationwide between Sept 25 and Sept 30 and has a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points.

Reporting by Anthony Boadle and Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Tom Brown and Ken Wills

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