Rouseff leads but Sunday's Brazilian election a close-run thing

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Rouseff leads but Sunday's Brazilian election a close-run thing

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Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff is holding a handy lead ahead of Sunday’s election say the latest opinion polls.

After 12 years in power her Workers Party has campaigned on the rising wages and expanding social programmes it has championed, and it appears the electorate, which had been threatening to make this the closest election in years, has listened.

Pro-business challenger Aecio Neves initially gained traction by highlighting the growing gap between rich and poor, but has lost his lead in the polls.

“I belong to those that think that you don’t change a winning team. It’s possible that there might be a change, but I think if Dilma wins this election, she has to keep the people she trusts and change those who want to unlawfully enrich themselves,” said music teacher Adailton Carvalho.

Neves has claimed of a “sordid” campaign against him, but polls say calling Roussef a “liar” and “flighty” on a TV debate lost him female voters' support. Not this one.

“We see people wishing for a change, everyone is against Dilma, but we don’t know. We are here in Rio de Janeiro, in Ipanema, an elitist neighbourhood,” said the owner of a medical clinic and Neves supporter Beatriz Todeschini Pires.

It seems Rousseff has been able to remind Brazil’s poor and lower-middle class that their recent gains are down to the government, and Neves would endanger that.