Updated Oct 3, 2022 - World

Bolsonaro and Lula head to Brazil presidential runoff

Jair Bolsonaro and Lula.

Jair Bolsonaro and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Photos: Buda Mendes/Getty Images

Brazil's far-right President Jair Bolsonaro and leftist former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will face off in a runoff this month after neither political heavyweight clinched more than 50% of the vote Sunday.

Driving the news: Lula, who consistently led in the polls ahead of Sunday's election, captured 48.4% of the vote, while Bolsonaro got 43.2%, per Brazil's electoral authority.

  • Lula will be the heavy favorite heading into the Oct. 30 runoff, though a late charge from Bolsonaro can't be ruled out. He performed better than expected on Sunday.

What they're saying: Lula at a news conference in Brasília compared the runoff vote to "extra time" in a soccer game, according to AP.

  • "I want to win every election in the first round, but it isn’t always possible," he said.

Bolsonaro told reporters in the capital that he understood "a lot of people desire change but some changes can be for the worst," AFP reports.

  • "I understand there were a lot of votes [cast] because of the condition of the Brazilian people, who feel price increases, especially on basic products," he added, pledging to do more to overcome concerns of poor voters.

The big picture: Lula and Bolsonaro offer starkly different visions for a country just beginning to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, which devastated Brazil and its economy.

  • Lula, a former two-term president, is looking to cap off a major political comeback after being sidelined during the last presidential election due to corruption convictions. Those convictions have since been thrown out.

Meanwhile, Bolsonaro is looking to hold onto power after facing criticism in some parts of Brazil for his handling of the pandemic, environmental policies and constant questioning of the country's electoral process.

  • He's claimed without evidence that Brazil's electronic voting system can be manipulated, and recently claimed if receives less than 60% of the vote Sunday "something abnormal has happened."

What to watch: It will likely be a tense four weeks of campaigning ahead of the runoff.

  • The leadup to Sunday's vote saw a series of politically motivated attacks and violence.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper