World News

Brazil election poll confirms Rousseff's lead

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Ruling party candidate Dilma Rousseff holds a 5 percentage point lead over opposition hopeful Jose Serra in Brazil’s presidential race, according to a poll released on Tuesday.

Brazilian presidential candidate for the ruling Workers Party Dilma Rousseff speaks at the Economic Forum held by Exame magazine in Sao Paulo May 31, 2010. REUTERS/Fernando Donasci

Rousseff, running for the center-left Workers’ Party, held 40 percent of the potential vote over former Sao Paulo state governor Jose Serra’s 35 percent, according to the Vox Populi poll reported on TV Bandeirantes.

It confirmed the five-point lead Rousseff had in a June 23 survey by polling firm Ibope.

Brazil will hold elections on October 3 to choose a successor to President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

The 62-year-old Rousseff, Lula’s former chief of staff, has taken the lead bolstered by a booming Brazilian economy and the president’s wide popularity.

Brazil’s economic growth of 9 percent in the first quarter is the nation’s fastest pace in 14 years.

A previous Vox Populi poll in May showed Rousseff with 38 percent of voter support against Serra’s 35 percent.

Brazil’s presidential race will not move into high gear until the soccer World Cup is over in mid-July.

Lula, one of Brazil’s most popular presidents, cannot run again due to a two-term limit, and he is urging voters to make Rousseff the South American country’s first female leader.

The Vox Populi poll has a 1.8 percent margin on error and was conducted between June 24 and 26 among 3,000 potential voters.

Reporting by Maria Carolina Marcello; writing by Reese Ewing; editing by Anthony Boadle