Brazil’s Serra widens lead in October race-poll

* Opposition Serra has 38 pct after last week’s launch

* Ruling party’s Rousseff has 28 pct, boosted by Lula

BRASILIA, April 17 (BestGrowthStock) – Brazil’s main opposition
candidate, Jose Serra, gained voter support in the October
presidential race, widening his lead over the ruling Workers’
Party’s Dilma Rousseff, an opinion poll showed on Saturday.

Serra gained 2 percentage points to 38 percent of voter
intention compared with the same poll a month ago, according to
the survey published in the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper.

Rousseff, who stepped down as President Luiz Inacio Lula da
Silva’s chief of staff nearly three weeks ago, gained 1 point
to 28 percent.

It is the first poll since Serra launched his campaign a
week ago, representing the three main opposition parties,
including his own centrist PSDB.

The Serra camp will likely celebrate the results after an
opinion survey by polling firm Sensus this week had shown Dilma
moving into a virtual tie with the better-known Serra, who
stepped down as Sao Paulo state governor this month in line
with electoral law.

Former environment minister Marina Silva of the Green Party
jumped 2 points to 10 percent of voter intention and former
Ceara state Governor Ciro Gomes lost 2 points, falling into
last place with 9 percent, the Datafolha poll showed.

Rousseff, 62, has benefited from Lula’s huge popularity
ratings of around 80 percent and by a fast-recovering economy.

Serra, aged 68, is highlighting his executive experience as
former mayor of Sao Paulo, as well as stints as health minister
and planning minister under Lula’s predecessor, Fernando
Henrique Cardoso.

Neither of the two leading candidates would break with the
fundamentals of Lula’s mostly market-friendly policies. Both
are seen as favoring a stronger government role in the
economy.

The survey polled 2,600 people April 15-16 and has a margin
of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

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(Reporting by Raymond Colitt; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

Brazil’s Serra widens lead in October race-poll