Brazil's Lula widens lead slightly over Bolsonaro for Sunday vote -poll

FILE PHOTO - Former Brazil's President and current presidential candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva attends a march with his wife Rosangela da Silva in Porto Alegre, Brazil, October 19, 2022. REUTERS/Diego Vara

BRASILIA, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Leftist presidential candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has increased his lead slightly over his far-right adversary President Jair Bolsonaro six days ahead of their runoff in Brazil's divisive election, a Monday poll said.

Lula leads by 52.0% of the votes against 46.2% for Bolsonaro, according to the AtlasIntel poll, inching forward from 51.1% to Bolsonaro's 46.5% in the previous poll two weeks ago.

The poll was completed before a shooting incident on Sunday involving Bolsonaro supporter and former Congressman Roberto Jefferson, which had the president's campaign worried about a negative impact on opinion polls, a senior aide said.

The changes for both candidates were less than the margin of error of one percentage point, but with the election to be decided on Sunday even a stable race at this point favors frontrunner Lula.

"The poll is good news for Lula," said AtlasIntel chief executive Andrei Roman.

Although the survey did not reflect the impact of Sunday's incident where the Bolsonaro supporter shot and wounded policemen as he resisted arrest, Roman said the president's recovery since the first-round vote on Oct. 2 has stalled.

Bolsonaro had begun to reduce Lula's lead to 3 or 4 percentage points thanks to a wave of new social spending in the final months of the election campaign with benefits calculated by Reuters to cost 273 billion reais ($52 billion) to the Treasury this year and next. read more

Pollster Romani, whose firm does daily tracking for clients, said Bolsonaro's upward trend was interrupted by a previous incident where the president suggested that Venezuelan immigrant teenagers were prostitutes, and had to later apologize.

The botched arrest of Jefferson on order from the Supreme Court for insulting one of its justices highlighted rising political violence in the election. read more

On Sunday, when federal police officers went to Jefferson's house, he opened fire on their car and threw stun grenades. Two officers were injured.

Reporting by Anthony Boadle and Flavia Marreiro; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Alistair Bell

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