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Brazil's Lula tops poll despite corruption conviction

If the former president is allowed to run in the October election, a new poll shows he would lead the field with 34 percent of the vote.

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Brazil's Lula tops poll despite corruption conviction

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Brazil's former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva remains the most popular presidential candidate, even as a conviction on corruption charges will likely bar him from the race, according to a new poll.

The Datafolha poll, published on Wednesday (January 31), shows that if he could run in the October election, he would lead the field with 34 percent of the vote.

It's the first survey taken since Lula's conviction on corruption charges was upheld by an appeals court last week.

The ruling will likely block him from the Oct. 7 election because of a law banning candidates convicted of crimes, though Lula is appealing.

The poll puts him well ahead of other candidates in the first round if he can run, with right-wing congressman Jair Bolsonaro trailing with 16 percent, followed by environmentalist Marina Silva at 8 percent.

It also suggested Lula would beat all other likely candidates in a second-round runoff, required if no single candidate wins a majority in the first round.

If Lula isn't allowed to run, a record 32 percent of Brazilians say they will not vote for any candidate - a sign of unprecedented disenchantment with the nation's scandal-plagued politicians.

The proportion of voters who said they would back no one in February 2014, ahead of the last election won by impeached leftist Dilma Rousseff, was 19 percent.

Brazil's establishment has been shaken by an unprecedented series of corruption investigations that began in early 2014 and focus on kickbacks at state-run firms. Over 100 powerful businessmen and politicians have been convicted, while dozens of congressmen, members of the executive branch and others remain under investigation.