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Live Reporting

Edited by Gareth Evans

All times stated are UK

  1. We're closing our live coverage

    Thank you for following as colleagues in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Washington and London brought live updates and analysis from the first round of Brazil's presidential election.

    Despite Luiz Inácio 'Lula' da Silva winning the round, he failed to reach the 50% of votes needed to win the election outright.

    It means the leftist former president will now face the second placed candidate - far-right incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro - in a run-off vote on 30 October.

    The winner of that race will be the country's new president.

    For updates and reaction, read our story here.

  2. No respite for voters in this cliffhanger

    Vanessa Buschschlüter

    Latin America digital editor in Rio de Janeiro

    Both Lula and Bolsonaro are likely to claim this result as a victory.

    For Lula - who spent 580 days in jail before his corruption conviction was annulled causing him to miss the 2018 election - this is a remarkable comeback.

    Bolsonaro will relish the fact that the opinion polls that had seen him trailing far behind Lula were off the mark, as he'd predicted.

    It's a drama which has been years in the making for the two arch rivals.

    Many voters, both on the left and the right, had hoped to see this resolved in the first round.

    But it wasn't to be, and there won't be any let-up in the next four weeks as each man is bound to fight hard to win over voters from the other candidates who have now been eliminated.

  3. Vote was fair and transparent - experts

    Mariana Sanches

    BBC Brasil correspondent in Washington

    International election observers have told the BBC that this vote was fair and transparent.

    The election took place amid tensions after successive attacks by the current president and candidate for re-election, Jair Bolsonaro, on the integrity of the electoral system.

    “In terms of integrity and trust, our team has not identified anything, everything has been intensively tested. It was very positive,” Maximo Zaldivar, director for Latin America at the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) told BBC Brasil.

    They also suggested that Bolsonaro's good performance - exceeding earlier projections - challenges his unfounded claim that there is "a fraud machine" within the electoral court.

  4. Tension won't let up as rivals face second round

    Vanessa Buschschlüter

    Latin America digital editor in Rio de Janeiro

    The results are in but the tension remains - and it is only likely to increase.

    Winning 50% of the valid vote in order to stave off a second round was always going to be a tall order for any candidate - the last time it happened was 24 years ago.

    But both Bolsonaro and Lula had given their supporters hope that they could achieve just that.

    Now voters have four weeks to decide who they want to lead the country.

    And with opinion polls off the mark in the first round, it's anyone's guess who that will be.

  5. BreakingPresidential election heading to run-off

    Almost all votes have been counted in Brazil (96.93%) and neither candidate will be able to hit the 50% mark needed to win in the first round.

    It means there will be a run-off election on 30 October between former President Luiz Inácio 'Lula' da Silva and incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro.

    Lula won 47.85% of votes.

    And Bolsonaro faired better than polls predicted, trailing behind with 43.7% of votes.

  6. Poll parallels with the US

    Laura Trevelyan

    BBC World News presenter in Rio de Janeiro

    As with Trump supporters in the US, who pollsters have struggled to reach and accurately reflect in their samples, so it seems Brazilian pollsters have underestimated support for Bolsonaro.

    The Brazilian president told his supporters not to believe the polls. And, as the results continue to come in, it does look like he’s outperformed them.

  7. Heartlands - who is strong where?

    Vanessa Buschschlüter

    Latin America digital editor in Rio de Janeiro

    As the results continue to come in, you may want to take the time to see how each candidate is faring in their respective heartland.

    The official results website allows you to filter the count by state.

    Lula's support has always been strongest in the north-east and his key constituencies are Brazil’s poor and lower-middle classes.

    One state you may want to look at is Minas Gerais, where opinion polls suggested that Lula would win 55% of the vote.

    But with more than 90% of the votes there counted, he is only at 48%.

    Among Bolsonaro's key backers are the agricultural sector and Brazil's growing evangelical community.

    Acre, a state which was predicted to vote heavily for Bolsonaro, seems to be delivering for the incumbent.

    With more than 97% of votes counted, Bolsonaro is at a whopping 62.5% of votes, compared to Lula at less than 30%.

  8. Longer wait than expected creates tension

    Katy Watson

    South America correspondent in São Paulo

    These results are taking far longer than people anticipated and on Paulista avenue in São Paulo where Lula supporters are waiting, it’s an expectant - and somewhat tense atmosphere - every gain for Lula is cheered, every Bolsonaro development is booed.

    It’s a far tighter race than people had thought it would be - the polls appear to have vastly underestimated support for Bolsonaro and if it goes to a second round, it’ll be a tense few weeks of campaigning to win the run-off.

    But Bolsonaro will come out of this emboldened, ready to fight for the presidency once again.

  9. Vote count moving quickly

    As expected, the vote count is moving quickly due to Brazil's electronic voting system.

    More than 85% of valid votes have now been counted.

    Lula has 46.64% of votes, while Bolsonaro is trailing slightly behind with 44.73% of votes.

    A result is not far off.

  10. Why this matters so much to the US

    Mariana Sanches

    BBC Brasil correspondent in Washington

    Bolsonaro supporter at a rally
    Image caption: Bolsonaro supporter at a rally

    There are several reasons why this election has grabbed the attention of the US - trade, democracy, Trump and climate change.

    The fates of the two countries have felt entwined of late, as they face similar challenges and share common interests. Both endured huge death tolls in the pandemic and now face inflation levels above 8%.

    There is record trade between them too - aircraft, petroleum, iron and steel - and they also make similar commodities.

    In 2021, Brazil became the country in which China invested the most, a blow to the Americans in their most obvious zone of influence in the Cold-War-like rivalry between Washington and Beijing.

    So, interest in who takes power in Brazil - current President Jair Bolsonaro or former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva - was always going to be high.

    You can read more here.

  11. No clear front-runner at this stage

    More than 63% of valid votes have now been counted. And here's the breakdown:

    Bolsonaro has 45.87% of votes

    Lula has 45.35% of votes

    And a reminder: if no candidate gets more than 50% of valid votes once the count is complete, a run-off election will be held on 30 October.

  12. Dogs at polling stations - Brazil edition

    Our readers in the UK may well be familiar with the concept of dogs at polling stations.

    For those not up to speed: when there are elections there, people post pictures of dogs at polling stations while they endure the long wait for the results to come in. Others just take the opportunity to bring their pets along with them.

    Well, some Brazilians seem to have followed suit...

    A dog wearing a sticker depicting Brazilian former President (2003-2010) and candidate for the leftist Workers Party (PT) Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, enters a polling station during general elections in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on October 2, 2022.
    Image caption: This dog appeared to be a Lula supporter (or at least it belonged to one)
    A man votes as his dog sits next to him at a polling station during the legislative and presidential election, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on October 2, 2022
    Image caption: Some behaved impeccably
    A dog at a polling station in Brazil
    Image caption: There were dogs of all shapes and sizes...
    Dogs at a polling station in Brazil
    Image caption: ... while others took the opportunity for a group day out.
  13. Still too early to tell

    Laura Trevelyan

    BBC World News presenter in Rio de Janeiro

    With more than 40% of the votes counted - Bolsonaro leads.

    But in the key swing cities of Rio and São Paulo - which were both won by Bolsonaro in 2018 - the vote count is not so far advanced.

    And in the north-east, where Lula is traditionally strong, the vote count is slower to come in.

    So it's still too early to see quite where this election is going.

  14. What the two front-runners stand for


    • left-wing, former trade union leader
    • increase protection measures for the Amazon
    • eradicate hunger in the country by strengthening income transfer programmes
    • resume multilateral international policy and regional leadership


    • right-wing populist, former army captain and backbench politician
    • made long-awaited pension reform and promises to continue reforming the Brazilian state
    • vows to battle gender ideology and govern based on Christian principles
    • facilitate access to weapons for ordinary citizens
  15. Bolsonaro: The anti-establishment insider

    Vanessa Buschschlüter

    Latin America digital editor in Rio de Janeiro

    Jair Bolsonaro was swept to power four years ago amid widespread discontent with mainstream politics and disgust with a raft of corruption scandals which had tainted Lula's Workers' Party.

    Bolsonaro rode this wave of anger to victory, styling himself as an anti-establishment rebel who promised to root out corruption.

    But he was hardly the political outsider he portrayed himself to be. He had been a member of Congress for 27 years before becoming president.

    And while his supporters welcomed his often aggressive style as "direct" and "unfiltered", he alienated large parts of the population with disparaging comments towards women and homophobic remarks.

    His handling of the Covid pandemic - he dismissed the virus as "a little flu" and opposed lockdowns - was also widely criticised.

    Internationally, he has come under criticism for cutting the budget of agencies tasked with protecting indigenous peoples and the environment.

  16. Result expected soon

    As we've been reporting, Brazilians have been voting for their next president. Voting stations closed a short while ago and counting is now well under way:

    • At the moment, 20% of valid votes have been counted and this number is rising quickly
    • Incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro has 47.93% of votes, whilst former President Luiz Inácio 'Lula' da Silva has 43.32% of votes counted (as of 22:53 GMT)
    • Bolsonaro and Lula have starkly different worldviews. Bolsonaro, a far-right candidate, is running for a second consecutive term
    • His left-wing opponent, Lula, is a former metal worker who was Brazil's president from 2003-2010
    • There were reports of long queues across Brazil as many turned out to vote, with one election expert telling the BBC that some polling stations remained open later than expected to meet demand
  17. Lula's political resurrection, explained

    Vanessa Buschschlüter

    Latin America digital editor in Rio de Janeiro

    The fact Lula is a candidate in this election riles many Bolsonaro supporters who regularly label him a "thief".

    That's because four years ago - during the last election which brought Bolsonaro to power - Lula was in jail.

    The left-wing leader had been convicted on corruption charges and banned from standing for public office. His political career appeared over for good.

    But in March 2021, his conviction was annulled and he was cleared to stand for office again.

    The Supreme Court justice who annulled his conviction said the court that had convicted Lula had lacked the necessary jurisdiction.

    Bolsonaro supporters will tell you that that does not mean Lula has been found to be innocent, while Lula supporters say that the whole case against him was politically motivated.

    The key thing is, the court's decision allowed him to return to politics and run for president again.

  18. A vote on the future of the Amazon

    Katy Watson

    South America correspondent in São Paulo

    Many people are seeing this vote as a vote on the future of the Amazon, too. Under Jair Bolsonaro, deforestation has soared.

    His insistence that the world’s largest rainforest be developed, along with budget cuts to indigenous and environmental agencies, has, say his critics, given the green light to illegal activity such as mining, logging and fishing and emboldened the agricultural industry.

    There is a fear that four more years of Bolsonaro would spell disaster for the Amazon and its people. And Lula has capitalised on that during the campaign, promising to offer protection of the forest.

    But should Lula win, he will have a huge job on his hands. During his previous term, his focus was poverty, not the Amazon - he wasn’t seen as the environmental saviour he’s making himself out to be now.

    There’s no question that climate has soared to the top of the agenda in this campaign, especially on an international level, but there are no easy solutions, even if Lula wins.

  19. Former foreign ministers play down risk of coup

    Laura Trevelyan

    BBC World News presenter in Rio de Janeiro

    Ernesto Araújo (left) was President Bolsonaro’s Foreign Minister. Celso Amorim (right) served as Lula’s Foreign Minister
    Image caption: Ernesto Araújo (L) was Bolsonaro’s Foreign Minister. Celso Amorim (R) served as Lula’s Foreign Minister

    As President Bolsonaro claims the voting system may be rigged against him, many Brazilians are asking if he might call on the army to help keep him in power should he lose this election.

    But Bolsonaro’s former Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo told me he thinks those fears are overblown.

    “There’s no chance at all for any sort of change in the democratic process," he said. “The military are not planning anything.”

    Lula's former Foreign Minister Celso Amorim said he agreed. “I don't think [Bolsonaro] will have support for a coup or anything like that.”

  20. Fears over reaction to the result

    Vanessa Buschschlüter

    Latin America digital editor in Rio de Janeiro

    In the run-up to the election, President Bolsonaro has cast doubts on the voting system, alleging - without providing evidence - that it’s open to fraud.

    The electoral authority has dismissed the allegations as “false and dishonest” but many Bolsonaro supporters think that if their candidate loses, it will be because the election was rigged.

    The president’s repeated attacks on the system have raised fears that he may not accept the final result if it goes against him.