SAO PAULO - Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva enjoys a strong lead ahead of the October 7 presidential elections despite his recent conviction on corruption charges, according to a poll published Wednesday.
The Datafolha poll was the first since an appeals court last week upheld a corruption conviction against da Silva — a decision likely to knock him out of contention.
The survey indicated that if da Silva were running now, he would get between 34 and 37 percent of votes in the first round. That's a comfortable lead over right-wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro, with 16 to 18 percent of the vote.
According to the poll, which had a margin of error of 2 percentage points, da Silva would also defeat all other likely candidates in an October 28 runoff election that would be held if no single candidate wins a majority in the first round.
A congressman of the conservative Social Liberal Party, Bolsonaro is a former army paratrooper who has vowed to wipe out corruption and crime and get the economy growing again. He has alarmed critics with fierce opposition to gay rights and abortion.
If da Silva isn't allowed to run, Bolsonaro tops the first round with 18 to 20 percent of votes in the survey. But he trails in a runoff behind Marina Silva, a former environment minister under da Silva, Datafolha said.