In a first poll after the death of Presidential candidate Eduardo Campos his likely replacement Marina Silva is shaking up the field reports NoSeMancha’s Brazilian election analyst João Schlüter.
Only a day after the remains of Eduardo Campos were laid to rest in a giant funeral in Recife on Sunday, August 17th, Datafoha came out with a new poll including the likely new candidate Marina Silva.
The results were much along the line with what I expected last week.
In a first round without Campos or Marina, incumbent Dilma Rousseff (PT) and her remaining rival Aécio Neves (PSDB) were both up 5 percentage points relative to their July poll (36 to 41 and 20 to 25 percent respectively). However, given the still large number of blank, invalid and undecided voters in this scenario (25 percent), Dilma would win in the first round with an absolute majority of the valid vote (55 percent).
Marina could win second in the first and first in the second round
With Marina in the race by contrast, Dilma’s first round vote remains at 36 percent, Aécio at 20 (both unchanged from July), yet Marina is able to add considerably to the vote of Eduardo Campos, multiplying his 8 percent to 21!. She does this by drawing in blanks and undecided voters, forcing Dilma into a runoff (with 43 percent of the valid vote).
The real surprise is that according to this result, Marina would be ahead of Aécio who would hence miss the runoff! Now, the 1 point difference between the two opposition candidates is very small and well within the margin of error (2 percentage points either way). But it means that if Marina runs, Aécio, will have to fight to secure second place.
Unsurprisingly, Aécio’s spokespeople were quick to state that Marina is has peaked already and that their candidate will leave her behind as the vote draws closer.
Dilma the favorite no more?
In the second round, there was another surprise. While Dilma keeps beating Aécio (with a larger margin than in July and outside the margin of error 47 to 39), Marina is ahead of the incumbent (but barely outside the margin of error 47 to 43 percent).
This confirms my view that a “third way” candidate such as Marina has a better chance at beating Dilma than does the traditional opposition of the PSDB (Aécio).
Of course this poll should be taken with grains of salt larger than those on your picanha. Marina is not yet an official candidate and the dramatic events of last week might give her a short term sympathy boost that wears of quickly.
All we know at this point is that the race appears wide open.