Dilma Rousseff leads by whisker in latest Brazil polls

Less a week before Brazil`s presidential elections, two new polls Monday showed incumbent Dilma Rousseff fractionally ahead of rival Aecio Neves in a race that is still too close to call.

AFP| Last Updated: Oct 21, 2014, 07:01 AM IST

Brasilia: Less a week before Brazil`s presidential elections, two new polls Monday showed incumbent Dilma Rousseff fractionally ahead of rival Aecio Neves in a race that is still too close to call.

The polls, by Datafolha and MDA consulting, saw Rousseff just edging ahead for the first time since the October 5 first round, though the margin for error meant the pair were in a technical tie.

After interviewing 4389 Brazilians on Monday for broadcaster Globo and Folha de Sao Paulo daily, Datafolha gave leftist Rousseff 52 percent of voter intentions to 48 for Neves, discounting blank and spoiled ballots.

By the same token, MDA gave the incumbent a 50.5 to 49.5 percent lead over Neves, a Social Democrat who is mounting a stiff challenge for the presidency of the South American giant in Sunday`s run-off elections.

In polls last week, Neves had led by a similar margin. 

Rousseff, candidate of the leftist Workers Party (PT), topped the October 5 first round poll with a 42 percent vote, while Neves trailed by eight percent.

But a number of parties have since thrown their support behind the challenger, including environmentalist Marina Silva, who came in third in the first round. 

The MDA poll of 2002 people, commissioned by the National Transport Confederation (CNT), showed 46.7 percent of respondents believed that former senator and Minas Gerais state governor Neves, 54, would win the election to 42.5 for Rousseff.

The same poll gave Rousseff a slightly higher proportion of die-hard backers, however, with 38.1 percent saying she was the only candidate they would consider voting for -- compared to 34.4 percent who felt the same way about Neves.

Both have a similarly high proportion of voters who flatly reject their candidacies -- 40.7 percent for Rousseff and 41 percent for Neves.