In electing Dilma Rousseff, Brazilians have effectively voted for more of the same.
The country’s first female president will inherit a robust economy and is under no immediate pressure to cut budgets.
Her first challenge will be to emerge from the shadow of her hugely popular predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
As one voter put it, “Lula’s government has done a great job and everyone expects the same from Dilma.”
She will have to win over the 44 percent of Brazilians who voted for her rival Jose Serra and were left disappointed by Sunday’s result.
Although relatively inexperienced, Dilma has the time to forge her own political identity and can at least look forward to a feel-good factor late in her term, when Brazil hosts football’s world cup in 2014.