Bolsonaro's approval falls to 24%, the lowest ever, says Datafolha poll

BRASILIA, May 13 (Reuters) - Only about 24% of Brazilians think the administration of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has been "good" or "great," his lowest popularity rating since taking office in 2019 and down from 30% in March.

Bolsonaro has been widely criticized for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, including for opposing lockdown measures, downplaying the severity of the disease and not prioritizing the purchase of vaccines.

Brazil has the world's second largest death toll from COVID-19 that has killed more than 428,000 people as infections surged in recent months.

Approval of Bolsonaro's government slid from a high of 37% in December and its negative numbers have risen progressively since then. Now, 45% of Brazilians consider his administration "bad" or "terrible" compared to 32% at the end of last year, while 54% of those polled by Datafolha say they would never vote for Bolsonaro.

Results published on Wednesday showed that Brazil's former leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva would handily defeat Bolsonaro by 55% to 32% in a run-off vote if the 2022 elections were held today.

Lula, who recovered his political rights after corruption convictions against him were annulled this year, is expected to challenge Bolsonaro's re-election next year, although he has not declared he is running. read more

Datafolha polled 2,071 Brazilians in person Tuesday and Wednesday. The survey has a margin of error of 2 percentage points.

Reporting by Anthony Boadle and Marcelo Rochabrun; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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