Advanced Search

LatinNews Daily Report - 26 July 2013

Click here for printer friendly version
Click here for full report

Rousseff’s reversal of fortunes

Development: On 26 July a special edition of the monthly omnibus CNI/Ibope poll made for grim reading for Brazilian political leaders.

Significance: This poll, the biggest and most detailed since the June protests, suggests a seismic shift in the Brazilian electorate. The big questions for the political parties revolve around the impact of this on the scheduled October 2014 general election. Does the incumbent Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT) risk being ousted after 12 years in a massive protest vote? Will the PT run with Dilma Rousseff as its presidential candidate or might it fall back on Lula da Silva – who, in contrast to Rousseff, polls suggest would be handily returned to office?  And who in Brazil’s political arena stands to benefit the most politically from the changed electoral mood? These are questions that the likes of João Santana, the PT’s campaign strategist, now will be working on feverishly ahead of 2014.

President Rousseff cancelled all her official appointments yesterday, with the Alvorada Palace citing flu. Political commentators are now asking if this novice president, who though an intelligent, hardworking and dedicated public servant, has the personality and leadership skills to steer Brazil through this period of upheaval.  The public fervour for charismatic leadership was obvious this week, as thousands of people of all ages fell under the spell of the visiting Pope Francis, who yesterday urged Brazil’s youth to keep alive their "sensitivity towards injustice" and drive the fight against corruption in national life.

Key points:

  • Starting with the federal government led by President Dilma Rousseff, its disapproval rating is now higher than its approval rating for the first time in the current term, which began in January 2011. President Rousseff’s popularity dropped 22 percentage points to 45%, from 67% previously, while public approval of her manner of governing fell 26 points to 45%, from 71% previously. The Rousseff government is now for the first time more unpopular than its predecessor administration (led by former president Lula da Silva [2006-2010]. CNI/Ibope made the point that it will be difficult for the Rousseff administration to revert this poll disaster without concrete evidence that it is delivering on the political, social and economic demands articulated by the tens of thousands of Brazilians that poured onto the streets in spontaneous protests in June.

  • Also very notable: for the first time Ibope examined the popularity of 11 state governments –most also fared badly, led by the main urban states of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, where the June protests were concentrated. President Rousseff’s weak popularity rating of 31% was just above the average for state governors and mayors of 28%.

  • Ibope carried out 7,686 interviews in 434 municipalities nationwide, of which 2,002 comprised the national sample and a further 5,684 the 11 state-level surveys.