Jose Serra has achieved his goal of reaching the second round. One of Brazil’s most experienced politicians, he’ll now have an extra four weeks to chip away at Rousseff’s lead.
But President Lula’s chosen successor goes into the run-off as clear favourite.
As he voted on Sunday, he said a runoff was necessary “for the good of Brazil”.
He was careful not to attack the wildly popular President Lula in the first round campaign – but may now feel more freedom to attack a woman who’s never been elected to office before.
However analysts say only a major scandal involving Rousseff directly could prevent her winning.
That the 2nd round is taking place is arguably down to Marina Silva. The Green party candidate and president Lula’s former environment minister scored a higher share of the vote than polls had predicted.
An evangelical Christian, she looks to have been
the main beneficiary of a last-minute shift of votes away from Rousseff.