Brazil election: Lula has 51% of voter support versus 43% for Bolsonaro, poll finds

By Lisandra Paraguassu and Peter Frontini

SAO PAULO (Reuters) -Brazil's leftist presidential candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva maintains a clear lead over right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro, a poll showed on Wednesday, as the candidates scrambled to win over voters ahead of an Oct. 30 runoff.

The survey by IPEC taken over the three days since the first-round vote found Lula with 51% voter support against Bolsonaro's 43%, with a margin of error of two percentage points.

IPEC was one of several polling firms criticized for underestimating Bolsonaro's support in the first-round vote, which Lula won by a slimmer-than-expected 5 percentage points.

Although Lula's lead of 8 percentage points in the IPEC poll is better than his advantage in the first-round vote, when there were 11 candidates, it is much narrower than the 14-point lead that the same pollster reported on Saturday – underscoring that it is an increasingly competitive race.

Lula and Bolsonaro are both hunting endorsements as they retool their campaigns to secure a victory in the most polarized election since Brazil's return to democracy in the 1980s.