While there are allegedly a lot of Brazilians who are leaning toward a change in the country’s presidency, the anticipated results from the polls have returned surprising numbers.

All this is expected to be capped by Oct. 30 when Brazil officially elects its new president. It is a battle between incumbent president Jair Bolsonar and former Brazilian prexy Lula da Silva.

After the first round, Lula was the most-voted candidate, garnering 48.4% of votes compared to Bolsonaro’s 43.2%. Despite holding the advantage, it was not enough for Lula to claim victory in the first round. He was only 1.5% from being elected last Oct. 2.

However, the fact is that Bolsonaro has been surprisingly hanging in there. Before voting began, he was 14% behind Lula. That gap was shortened by almost 10% in a few days. Hence, there may be unforeseen elements in play, something referred to as a secret ballot typical of controversial candidates.

But there is even more concern ahead for Lula, a reason why he would need to build up his lead. Secret or hidden voters may crop up soon, possibly the difference-maker come election day.

These hidden votes refer to people who do not necessarily express their intention to vote but eventually do so on election day.

Should this be the case, Bolsonaro’s vote could be up to 10%. With the second round seen to be tight, the difference is less than 7% and something that could render a different result.

Hence if Lula is to win, he needs to pad his lead over Bolsonaro and get a majority in the second round. He needs to win by a good margin to weather the growing rise of Bolsonaro.

And even if Lula does win by a slim margin, it will not be free of controversy. He will be accused of fraud by Bolsonaro and his followers, something that could raise another crisis – including a possible coup.

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro
Representation image. Photo by Douglas Magno/AFP via Getty Images

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