UPDATE 3-Silva surges in Brazil election poll, runoff looks certain

lunes 18 de agosto de 2014 13:38 GYT

(Updates with market reaction, analyst comments)

By Anthony Boadle

BRASILIA Aug 18 (Reuters) - Marina Silva's entry into Brazil's presidential race will almost certainly force the October election into a second-round runoff and the environmentalist could even unseat President Dilma Rousseff, according to a poll released on Monday.

It showed Silva with the support of 21 percent of voters, almost three times more than center-left candidate Eduardo Campos, who she is poised to replace on the Brazilian Socialist Party's ticket after his death last week in a plane crash.

Support for Rousseff in the survey by polling firm Datafolha was unchanged from last month at 36 percent and remained at 20 percent for centrist and market favorite Aecio Neves, showing that Silva's surge came among voters who were previously undecided.

The poll showed Silva depriving Rousseff of the votes she needs to win the election outright in the first round of voting on Oct. 5. It also showed Silva ahead of Rousseff by 4 percentage points if there is a runoff between the two.

If Silva can sustain that momentum, she could pose the biggest threat to the ruling Workers' Party since it was voted in under Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva almost 12 years ago.

Brazil's stocks and currency gained on Monday as investors welcomed the prospect that Rousseff could be defeated, ending interventionist policies that have soured business confidence in Brazil's once-booming economy.

The poll was not all bad news for Rousseff, however. It showed that her government's approval rating rose six percentage points to 38 percent, probably due to a slowdown in inflation, which is a major concern for voters.   Continuación...