BRASILIA (Reuters) -Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s disapproval ratings rose to the highest level since he came to power 2-1/2 years ago, with the far-right leader also slipping further behind his main rival ahead of the election in 2022, two polls showed on Thursday.
According to a Datafolha poll, 51% of Brazilians disapproved of Bolsonaro, up from 45% in the previous poll in May and the highest since he took office in January 2019.
A survey carried out by XP/Ipespe showed 52% of respondents said Bolsonaro’s government is doing a “bad/terrible” job, up from 50% in June and the highest since January 2019.
That figure has risen steadily from 31% in October, as a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation almost quadrupling to more than 8% has forced the government to extend emergency cash transfers to millions of poor families.
Half of those polled by XP/Ipespe said they expect Bolsonaro to do a “bad/terrible” job for the remainder of his presidency, up from 47% in June and again a record high.
Ahead of next year’s elections, former leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva strengthened his lead over Bolsonaro, the poll showed. Although neither of them have announced their candidacy, the 2022 election is widely expected to be a run-off between the two polarizing figures.
In a simulated first-round vote, Lula saw his share jump to 38% from 32% in the June poll. Bolsonaro’s first-round support fell two percentage points to 26%. A second-round matchup showed Lula’s support rose to 49% from 45% in the previous survey, while Bolsonaro’s slipped to 35% from 36%.
The XP/Ipespe poll was based on 1,000 interviews, conducted from July 5-7, with a margin of error of 3.2 percentage points. Datafolha surveyed 2,074 people on July 7-8, and the poll has a margin of error of 2 percentage points.
(Reporting by Jamie McGeever and Maria Carolina Marcello; Editing by Aurora Ellis and David Gregorio)