Brazil First Election Results Give Dilma Rousseff Lead

Early results in Brazil suggest the candidate for the governing Workers' Party, Dilma Rousseff, is ahead in the country's presidential election. Mrs Rousseff is the favoured successor to President Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva, who has completed two terms. With 10% of ballots counted, Mrs Rousseff had 42% of valid votes, while her main opponent, Jose Serra, had 37%, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal said. To avoid a run-off, Mrs Rousseff must win more than 50% of votes cast. Analysts say Ms Rousseff ran a careful campaign, benefiting from Mr Lula's widespread popularity and the country's booming economy.Centre-left candidate Jose Serra, of the Social Democratic Party, has pinned his hopes on getting enough votes to force a second round. President Lula, who is constitutionally barred from standing for a third consecutive term, acknowledged that the poll could go to a run-off. "The election has two rounds. I have never won an election in the first round. It will be 30 more days of fighting... and let's go to this fight," he said. Mr Lula stressed, however, that Ms Rousseff, his former chief of staff, was in a strong position to win. The latest polls published on Saturday suggested Ms Rousseff's attempt to win enough votes to avoid a run-off vote on 31 October would be extremely tight.O Globo newspaper's prediction had Ms Rousseff winning 51% of the vote, with Mr Serra on 31%; the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper poll put Ms Rousseff on 50% and Mr Serra on 31%. Polls have consistently suggested Ms Rousseff would win a second round by a wide margin, but analysts say her position would be strengthened if she could win outright on Sunday. Brazil, one of the world's most populous democracies, is also choosing local and national representatives. Slipping lead Maria Silveira, a Rousseff voter in Mr Lula's constituency, Sao Bernardo do Campo, outside Sao Paulo, told the Associated Press news agency: "It only makes sense to vote for the candidate who I know will continue what he started
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