FHC in 2006?
Also in the Jornal do Brasil today is a report on the monthly Citizen Satisfaction Index, published by the National Transport Confederation (CNT). The headline is that Lula's polls have slumped since May, with 54% in support and 37.6% against. Compare it to July last year when his approval ratings were 77.6% and disapproval at 14.4%.
Clearly the bad press over campaign funding scandals, allegation of alcoholism and his economic plan have all contributed (indeed, the London-based PT is ablaze with debate and discussion on Lula's economic plan, not least with a recent Uberlandia Letter signed by various economists questioning the government's direction).
Lula's figures for the last month contrast with those for governors and mayors in general, whose polls haven't deviated much. But then as the only politician in his position, he is clearly going to be at a disadvantage when it comes to personal identification.
Of some interest in the findings are the pollsters' attempts to identify who might be best placed for 2006. Two lists are presented, each with different candidates for the former governing coalition of the PSDB and PFL. In both lists Lula would top the list, with 28-29% of support (the advantage of incumbency?), but it's interesting to see who would be after him. In one list, if Geraldo Alckmin, the current Sao Paulo governor, were the PSDB's candidate, then he would trail behind Ciro Gomes and Garotinho with 10.5% of the poll.
But if the PSDB were to go for the former president, Fernando Henrique Cardoso (FHC), then the PSDB would rise to second place, with 16.6%. Of course it's still a good 10-12% down on Lula, but evidently voters have a charitable impression of their last president.
Could FHC mount a re-run in 2006? I'm sure the PSDB will be looking at those polling figures with interest.