Brazil poll shows Bolsonaro halving Lula lead in a month

BRASILIA, April 13 (Reuters) - Leftist former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's lead in Brazil's presidential race was halved in a month by far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, a new poll on Wednesday showed.

The opinion survey by PoderData showed Lula drawing 40% of voter intentions versus 35% for Bolsonaro if the October election were held on Wednesday. In mid-March, when Bolsonaro's former justice minister was still in the running, Lula also had 40% support but the incumbent drew just 30%.

In a simulated second-round runoff, Lula would beat Bolsonaro 47% to 38%, just nine percentage points, PoderData found, down from the 14-point advantage seen a month ago and a 22-point gap at the start of 2022.

Other surveys by major pollsters have also shown Lula's advantage eroding gradually, although they show him with a more comfortable lead. Datafolha put Lula ahead in the first round by 17 percentage points in mid-March, down from 26 in December.

PoderData said Bolsonaro has gained 3 points since former Judge Sergio Moro, who quit as justice minister in 2020, said he was dropping out of the race, leading the pollster to exclude his name from the survey.

PoderData, the polling arm of news website Poder360, said Lula has a clear lead over Bolsonaro in Brazil's poorer northeast, but the president is ahead in the center-west farm belt and northern Brazil.

The gap between voter intentions for Lula and Bolsonaro is within the margin of error in wealthier southern and southeastern Brazil.

PoderData polled 3,000 voters by telephone across the country between April 10-12. The poll has a margin of error of 2 percentage points up or down.

Reporting by Anthony Boadle Editing by Brad Haynes and Richard Chang

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