Brazil’s Lula leads polls for 2018 presidential race

Brasilia: Brazil’s former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva leads the list of potential candidates to run in the 2018 presidential race, despite his recent legal troubles, according to a poll .

The survey, commissioned by the National Confederation of Transport (CNT) and carried out by pollster MDA, on Wednesday confirmed the results of a separate poll published on Tuesday by polling firm Vox Populi, Xinhua news agency reported.

The open-ended MDA poll, which let those queried propose their own possible candidates, as opposed to being given a list of names to select from, found Lula led with 11.4 per cent support.

The next closest candidates received only around 3 per cent support, including Jair Bolsonaro of the conservative Social Christian Party (3.3 per cent), Aecio Neves of the centrist Brazilian Social Democracy Party (3.1 per cent), and current interim President Michel Temer of the centre-right Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (3 per cent).

Lula, of the Workers’ Party (PT), has been accused of corruption in relation to Operation Carwash, a long-running investigation into sprawling high-level graft.

He has denied the accusations, and claimed they were politically motivated to prevent him from returning to the elections.

When presented with a list of potential candidates, 24.8 per cent of those queried chose Lula, distantly followed by Neves (15.7 per cent).

The MDA survey polled 2,002 people in 137 cities from October 13 to 16.