Thursday, August 12, 2004

Campaign utterings

One thing about polls is the heat they generate. And the recent Datafolha poll is no exception. Here in brief is a quick and easy guide to everything that's been said over the last day according to the Folha.

Workers Party (PT) - They've got the most to crow about. Their candidate, the current mayor, Marta Suplicy, has just gone into the lead. But whereas her colleague, Joao Paulo Cunha, a state deputy and president of the lower house of Congress, is excitable in tone, seeing this as the first step towards winning the presidency again in 2006, Marta is almost serene and Buddha-like in her response. 'I'm very satisfied with the poll.' The party president, Jose Genoino, also injects a degree of moderation, saying 'It's important we be prudent with these polls because our rivals are going to attack Marta as they did in [last week's] debate.'

Social Democrats (PSDB) - The former front runner, is putting a brave face on his fall in the polls. Jose Serra is taking the route favoured by those who aren't doing as well as they would like: 'The poll numbers doesn't alter our strategy one bit. It's going as normal. Polls are a snapshot and are very volatile. What is important is the poll on election day. We're going to continue with our strategy.' The former president, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, also took time out of a possible bid for the 2006 election by lending support to his former health minister. What's interesting, according to FHC, is the likely second round contest between Marta and Serra, which according to the poll, Serra would win by 52% to 38%.

Socialist Party/Democratic Movement Party coalition (PSB/PMDB) - It's all fun and games down at the campaign HQ for Erundina, a former mayor herself. Her decline in the polls, from 9% to 7% over the last month, is causing some problems. A section of the coalition want to pack away their ways and back Marta. But this could be a problem, since some of the coalition see the PT as deliberately exploiting differences within the camp. A bonfire waiting to happen? You bet. Stay tuned on this one.

Popular Party (PP) - the main right wing candidate in this election, Paulo Maluf, whose figures have fallen from 24% to 19%, appears to have taken a strange turn. Just as Eric Cantona started talking about ships and seagulls the day after he launched himself at a fan during a game, so is Maluf talking gibberish. 'I'm very happy,' he says. 'We are maintaining our position. We haven't fallen. Evidently there's an increase for the current mayor, but that doesn't need explaining. Walk the streets to see the PT's campaign. A party that entered government in sandals and now walks in gold shoes...'

Sorry? I think there we must leave it. But roll on the next poll and the inevitable rubbish which will spout.

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