Brazilian general election, 2018

Last updated
Brazilian general election, 2018

  2014 7 October 2018 (2018-10-07) (first round)
28 October 2018 (2018-10-28) (second round)
Opinion polls
Turnout79.67% (first round)
78.7% (second round) [1]
Candidate Jair Bolsonaro Fernando Haddad [lower-alpha 1]
Party PSL PT
AllianceBrazil Above Everything, God Above EveryoneThe People Happy Again
Home state Rio de Janeiro [lower-alpha 2] São Paulo
Running mate Hamilton Mourão Manuela d'Ávila
States carried15 + DF 11
Popular vote57,797,84747,040,906

Map of results for each State and the Federal District.

President before election

Michel Temer

Elected President

Jair Bolsonaro

Official 2018 elections logo

General elections were held in Brazil on 7 October 2018 to elect the President, Vice President and the National Congress. Elections for state governors and vice governors, state legislative assemblies and the Legislative Chamber of the Federal District were held at the same time.


On 7 October 2018, Rio de Janeiro congressman Jair Bolsonaro came first in the first round of the presidential election. A run-off between him and former São Paulo mayor Fernando Haddad [3] was held on 28 October 2018. At 22:06 GMT, with 88% reporting, Bolsonaro was declared the winner with over 50% of the popular vote. [4]


The 2014 elections saw Workers' Party candidate Dilma Rousseff reelected as President in the second round with 51.6% of the vote, defeating Aécio Neves of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party who received 48.4% of the vote. [5] Rousseff had first been elected in the 2010 elections, succeeding her political mentor, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who was in office from 2003 until 2011. [6]

However, on 3 December 2015, impeachment proceedings against Rousseff were officially accepted by the Chamber of Deputies. [7] On 12 May 2016, the Federal Senate temporarily suspended Rousseff's powers and duties for up to six months or until the Senate reached a verdict: to remove her from office if found guilty or to acquit her from the crimes charged. [8] Vice President Michel Temer, of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, assumed her powers and duties as Acting President of Brazil during the suspension. [9] [10] On 31 August 2016, the Senate voted 61–20 in favor of impeachment, finding Rousseff guilty of breaking budgetary laws and removing her from office. [11] [12] Critics of the impeachment saw it as a legislative coup d'état. [13] Vice President Temer succeeded Rousseff as the 37th President of Brazil. His government implemented policies that contradicted the platform on which Rousseff's Workers Party had been elected, in one of the most controversial and politically-heated periods of modern Brazilian history. [14]

Electoral system

Voters lined up waiting for their turn to vote in Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul

Voting in Brazil is allowed for citizens over 16 years of age, and mandatory for those between 18 and 70 years of age. [15] Those who do not vote in an election and do not later present an acceptable justification (such as being away from their voting location at the time) must pay a fine of 3.51 BRL (equivalent to 0.90 USD as of October 2018). [16] [17] Brazilian citizens residing abroad only vote for president. [18]

Presidential elections

The President and the Vice President of Brazil are elected using the two-round system. Citizens may field their candidacies for the presidency, and participate in the general elections, which are held on the first Sunday in October (in this instance, 7 October 2018). [19] If the most-voted candidate takes more than 50% of the overall vote, he or she is declared elected. If the 50% threshold is not met by any candidate, a second round of voting is held on the last Sunday in October (in this instance, 28 October 2018). In the second round, only the two most-voted candidates from the first round may participate. The winner of the second round is elected President of Brazil. Candidates for President run for office jointly with a candidate for Vice-President, and the Vice-President is elected as a consequence of the election of the President. [20]

Gubernatorial elections

The Governors and Vice Governors of all states and of the Federal District were elected, in two rounds when needed, in the same way as the presidential election. [21]

Congressional elections

Federal Senate elections

Two-thirds of the 81 members of the Federal Senate will be elected for a term of 8 years in office, the other third having been elected in 2014. Two candidates will be elected from each of the states and Federal District using majority block voting, with voters able to cast two votes each. [22]

Chamber of Deputies elections

All 513 members of the Chamber of Deputies (federal deputies) will be elected, with candidates elected from 27 multi-member constituencies corresponding to the states and Federal District, varying in size from eight to 70 seats. The Chamber elections are held using open list proportional representation, with seats allocated using the simple quotient. [23]

Legislative Assemblies elections

All members of the State Legislative Assemblies (state deputies) and of the Federal District Legislative Chamber (district deputies), varying in size from 24 to 94 seats, will be elected. These elections are also held using open list proportional representation, with seats allocated using the simple quotient. [24]

Presidential candidates

Candidates in runoff

#Party/coalitionPresidential candidatePolitical office(s)Vice-Presidential candidate
Brazil Above Everything, God Above Everyone
PSL, PRTB [25]
Jair Bolsonaro (PSL)
Federal Deputy for Rio de Janeiro (1991–)
Gen. Hamilton Mourão (PRTB)
The People Happy Again
PT, [26] PROS, [27] PCdoB [28]
Fernando Haddad (PT)
51st Mayor of São Paulo (2013–17)
Manuela d'Ávila (PCdoB)

Candidates failing to make runoff

#Party/coalitionPresidential candidatePolitical office(s)Vice-Presidential candidate
Sovereign Brazil [29]
Ciro Gomes (PDT)
former Governor of Ceará (1991–94) and Federal Deputy for Ceará (2007–11)
Kátia Abreu [30] (PDT)
This is the Solution
MDB, PHS [31]
Henrique Meirelles (MDB)
Minister of the Economy (2016–2018) and former President of the Central Bank of Brazil (2003–11)
Germano Rigotto (MDB)
United Socialist Workers' Party (PSTU)
Vera Lúcia (PSTU)
Labor organizer
Hertz Dias (PSTU)
United to Transform Brazil
Marina Silva (REDE)
Senator for Acre (1995–2011) [32]
Eduardo Jorge (PV)
Real Change
Álvaro Dias
Senator for Paraná (1983–87, 1999–2018) [33] [34]
Paulo Rabello de Castro (PSC)
Christian Democracy (DC)
José Maria Eymael (DC)
Federal Deputy for São Paulo (1986–95) [35]
Helvio Costa (DC)
New Party (NOVO)
João Amoêdo (NOVO)
President of NOVO (2015–17) [36]
Christian Lohbauer (NOVO)
To unite Brazil [37]
Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB)
Governor of São Paulo (2001–06, 2011–18) [38]
Ana Amélia (PP)
Let's Go Without Fear of Changing Brazil [39]
Guilherme Boulos (PSOL)
Professor at University of São Paulo, coordinator of the Homeless Workers' Movement activist, and writer.
Sônia Guajajara (PSOL)
Patriota (PATRI)
Cabo Daciolo (PATRI)
Federal Deputy for Rio de Janeiro (2015–) [40]
Suelene Balduino Nascimento (PATRI)
Free Homeland Party (PPL)
João Vicente Goulart (PPL)
State Deputy of Rio Grande do Sul (1982–86)
Léo Alves (PPL)

Lost in primaries or conventions

Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB)

Democrats (DEM)

Party of National Mobilization (PMN)

Social Democratic Party (PSD)

Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL)


Rejection of Lula's candidacy

On 1 September, the Superior Electoral Court voted 6–1 to reject Lula's candidacy, but approved the PT-PCdoB-PROS coalition "The People Happy Again" and the vice-presidential candidacy of Fernando Haddad. [95] The Workers' Party replaced Lula with Haddad and announced the former presidential candidate Manuela D'Ávila as his running mate. [96]

Stabbing of Jair Bolsonaro

Bolsonaro being stabbed at a Juiz de Fora rally

Jair Bolsonaro was stabbed on 6 September 2018 while campaigning in the city of Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais and interacting with supporters. [97] Bolsonaro's son, Flávio, has stated that his father's wounds were only superficial and he was recovering in hospital. [98] Police arrested and identified the attacker as Adelio Bispo de Oliveira, who claimed that he was "ordered by God to carry out the attack". [99] Flávio Bolsonaro later stated that the wounds inflicted seem worse than initially thought. He tweeted about his father's condition, explaining that the perforation reached part of the liver, the lung and part of the intestine. He also stated that Bolsonaro had lost a large amount of blood, arriving at the hospital with a pressure of 10/3, but had since stabilized. [100] [101] [97] Most of the other candidates in the presidential race (from both sides of the political spectrum), and the current Brazilian president, Michel Temer, condemned the attack. [102] After being stabbed, Bolsonaro did not attend any further debates. [103]


Two debates were held on 9 August and 17 August, featuring eight presidential candidates: Bolsonaro, Alckmin, Silva, Gomes, Dias, Meirelles, Boulos, and Daciolo. Lula was unable to participate in the debates. [104] The 9 August debate was moderated by Ricardo Boechat, [105] and the 17 August debate was moderated by Amanda Klein, Boris Casoy and Mariana Godoy. [106]

A debate scheduled for 27 August [107] was canceled after Jair Bolsonaro expressed his uncertainty about participating in the debates and the Workers' Party insisted on the participation of Lula, prohibited by the Electoral Justice. [108] Bolsonaro did not participate in further debates after he was attacked on 6 September. [109]

After a debate on 9 September moderated by Maria Lydia Flândoli, [110] Fernando Haddad participated in all remaining debates. These occurred on 20 September (moderated by Joyce Ribeiro), [111] 26 September (moderated by Carlos Nascimento), [112] 30 September (moderated by Adriana Araújo and Celso Freitas), [113] and 4 October (moderated by William Bonner). [114]

A vice presidential debate was held on 5 September featuring four candidates; Fernando Haddad did not attend. [115]

While several debates were scheduled for the second round, none were held. Debates planned for 12 October, [116] 14 October, [117] and 15 October [118] were cancelled due to Bolsonaro's health issues. A debate scheduled for 21 October [119] was cancelled after the campaigns were unable to agree to terms.

Opinion polls



First place candidate on first round per state
Second round results by state
CandidatePartyRunning matePartyFirst roundSecond round
Jair Bolsonaro PSL Hamilton Mourão PRTB 49,276,99046.0357,797,84755.13
Fernando Haddad PT Manuela d'Ávila PCdoB 31,342,00529.2847,040,90644.87
Ciro Gomes PDT Kátia Abreu PDT 13,344,36612.47
Geraldo Alckmin PSDB Ana Amélia PP 5,096,3494.76
João Amoêdo NOVO Christian Lohbauer NOVO 2,679,7442.50
Cabo Daciolo PATRI Suelene Balduino PATRI 1,348,3231.26
Henrique Meirelles MDB Germano Rigotto MDB 1,288,9481.20
Marina Silva REDE Eduardo Jorge PV 1,069,5771.00
Álvaro Dias PODE Paulo Rabello de Castro PSC 859,6010.80
Guilherme Boulos PSOL Sônia Guajajara PSOL 617,1220.58
Vera Lúcia PSTU Hertz Dias PSTU 55,7620.05
José Maria Eymael DC Hélvio Costa DC 41,7100.04
João Vicente Goulart PPL Léo Dias PPL 30,1760.03
Invalid/blank votes10,313,14111,094,698
Registered voters/turnout147,305,82579.67147,305,15578.70
Source: Globo
Popular vote (first round)
Popular vote (second round)


Chamber of Deputies
Party Chamber of Deputies Senate
Social Liberal Party 11,457,87811.752+4419,413,86911.344+4
Workers' Party 10,126,61110.356–1324,785,67014.546–6
Brazilian Social Democracy Party 5,905,5416.029–2520,310,55811.948–2
Social Democratic Party 5,749,0085.834–28,202,3424.846+3
Progressistas 5,480,0675.637–17,529,9014.456+1
Brazilian Democratic Movement 5,439,1675.534–3212,800,2907.5712–6
Brazilian Socialist Party 5,386,4005.532–28,234,1954.825–2
Republic Party 5,224,5915.333–13,130,0821.812–2
Brazilian Republican Party 4,992,0165.130+91,505,6070.911
Democrats 4,581,1624.729+89,218,6585.447+2
Democratic Labour Party 4,545,8464.628+97,737,9824.526–2
Socialism and Liberty Party 2,783,6692.810+55,273,8533.100–1
New Party 2,748,0792.88New3,467,7462.000
Podemos 2,243,3202.311+75,494,1253.211+1
Republican Party of the Social Order 2,042,6102.18–31,370,5130.811
Brazilian Labour Party 2,022,7192.110–151,899,8381.124+1
Solidariedade 1,953,0672.013–24,001,9032.311
Avante 1,844,0481.97+5713,3790.400
Social Christian Party 1,765,2261.88–54,126,0682.411+1
Green Party 1,592,1731.64–41,226,3920.700–1
Popular Socialist Party 1,590,0841.68–22,954,8001.722+2
Patriota 1,432,3041.55+360,5890.000
Humanist Party of Solidarity 1,426,4441.56+14,228,9732.522+2
Communist Party of Brazil 1,329,5751.49–11,673,1901.000–1
Progressive Republican Party 851,3680.94+11,974,0611.211+1
Sustainability Network 816,7840.81New7,166,0034.255New
Brazilian Labour Renewal Party 684,9760.70–1886,2670.500
Party of National Mobilization 634,1290.63329,9730.200
Christian Labour Party 601,8140.62222,9310.100
Free Homeland Party 385,1970.41+1504,2090.300
Christian Democracy 369,3860.41–1154,0680.100
Party of Brazilian Women 228,3020.2051,0270.000
Brazilian Communist Party 61,3430.10256,6550.100
United Socialist Workers Party 41,3040.00413,9140.200
Workers Cause Party 2,7850.0038,6910.000
Invalid/blank votes18,771,73761,995,824
Registered voters/turnout146,750,52979.8146,750,52979.8
Source: Election Resources

Aftermath and reactions

See also


  1. The original candidate Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was barred from running by the Superior Electoral Court on 31 August 2018, in accordance with the Clean Slate law. [2]
  2. Born in São Paulo, electoral based in Rio de Janeiro


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