Brazil 2010

The first round of presidential, legislative, gubernatorial and state elections were held in Brazil on October 3. Runoffs for the presidential race and a handful of gubernatorial contests will be held on October 31. Here’s the results of the main races, presidential and otherwise:

Dilma Rousseff (PT) 46.91%
José Serra (PSDB) 32.61%
Marina Silva (PV) 19.33%
Plínio de Arruda Sampaio (PSOL) 0.87%
José Maria Eymael (PSDC) 0.09%
José Maria de Almeida (PSTU) 0.08%
Levy Fidélix (PRTB) 0.06%
Ivan Pinheiro (PCB) 0.04%
Rui Costa Pimenta (PCO) 0.01%
blank and null 8.64%

The main surprise, of sorts, of this election was the fact that Dilma will have to face a runoff against Serra, something which most did not predict. Though she had struggled, so to speak, in the final days, most pollsters predicted that she would still win outright by the first round. It isn’t to say that the pollsters botched this one, given that the last poll by Datafolha the day before the vote had her at 50% with a margin of error of 3%, which places her result within the margin of error. But something certainly happened. Even though voting is mandatory in Brazil, the rule is not strictly applied and abstention always ends up being slightly below 20%, and given that voting in Brazil is electronic through machines, the number of blank and null votes is often quite high. Abstention is always higher in poorer and more remote areas, which tend to favour the PT. Another factor may have been a low potency scandal in the Chief of Staff (Casa Civil)’s office involving Dilma’s successor in that office which she herself held until recently. Such a scandal might have influenced some of the PT’s more urban and educated voters to switch their votes at the last minute to Marina Silva, the Green candidate.  At the same time, some Dilma voters might not have bothered turning out because almost everybody said she’d win outright.

Marina Silva was the main over-performer of the first round, defying almost all expectations and garnering around 19% of the vote. While she surged in the last few days of the campaign, she spent most of it languishing in the low double digits or high single digits, and people had assume d that her ‘centrist’ vote would be squeezed in the last weeks of the campaign. Instead, her vote reflects perhaps discontent by some voters about the polarized political system which, despite a multitude of parties, basically has two national-level coalitions which seem rather solid. On the other hand, her high vote could also reflect her coalescing the evangelical vote (20% or so) behind her, especially after Dilma’s numbers with evangelicals fell in the last few days as rumours circulated about her being supposedly pro-choice and pro-gay marriage. Marina, evangelical herself though hardly an hardcore conservative on social issues, might have benefited from her image as the only evangelical candidate.

The patterns which first emerged in the 2006 election, with the creation of more or less solid “red states” and “blue states” has held in this election. Despite the widespread popularity of Lula and the prosperity which has come, for some more than others, on Brazilians; the division of the electorate along lines of incomes and social class have prevailed. As in 2006, the wealthier (and whiter) states preferred the candidate of the PSDB. Poorer (and often darker-skinned) voters, especially in the impoverished Nordeste preferred the candidate of the PT. The reasons are rather simple: poorer voters feel indebted to Lula’s party and almost worship him. On the other hand, wealthier voters still feel rather uneasy with the PT and are more likely to be worried by arguments that Lula and his allies and trying to transform the PT into an equivalent of the Mexican PRI and rule the country for the next 50 years or so.

All but three states which voted for Alckmin in the first round of 2006 voted for Serra on Sunday. All but one of the states which voted for Alckmin in the runoff in 2006 voted for Serra in 2006 (as did two other states which voted for Lula in the runoff, but Alckmin in the first round). The only state which broke from this line was Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil’s southernmost state, and one of the wealthiest and traditionally more or less conservative (at least recently). Given that Dilma is from Rio Grande do Sul (though born in Minas Gerais), having started her political career in Porto Alegre (which, ironically, she lost) it is explainable. The unpopularity of the state’s PSDB governor, Yeda Crusius, probably helped her as well.

At this point, a map at the municipal level is of some use, so here is a great map provided by the Estado de São Paulo newspaper:

If there’s one state which makes little sense, it has to be Acre. Although it’s one of the PT’s earliest bases outside São Paulo, it had voted for Alckmin in the first round of 2006. This time, however, it heavily backed Serra, in fact it was his best state of all 27, with 52.13% of the vote. This despite having a relatively popular PT state government, and of course being Marina Silva’s home state. Some have suggested a recent growth in agrobusiness here as a possible explanation for this shift in the state, which probably started in 2006. In Xapuri, which was the home base of well-known rubber tapper (and PT founding figure) Chico Mendes, Serra won over 53% of the vote and Marina won only 14% of the vote there, despite being rather closely connected with Chico Mendes’ legacy. As we’ll see later, the gubernatorial results in Acre also got me to scratch my head a bit.

The other results are not surprising. Save for some closer margins in Sergipe (judging from gubernatorial results, the PT state government’s possible unpopularity might explain that) and Alagoas (Maceió is probably the only consistently right-wing urban centre in the region); Dilma crushed in the Nordeste. In Maranhão, where she had the backing of both the Sarney machine and the sociological-demographic nature of the state behind her, she won 70.65% of the vote, her best state. She did especially well in Piauí and Ceará, as well as Pernambuco and Bahia. In the sertão region of the Northeast, Dilma won by some massive margins. Often over 70% of the vote, and over 80% in a number of municipalities as well. The dry and arid sertão, used to droughts and with little year-round agriculture, is dirt-poor and the poorest region of Brazil by far (it’s also Lula’s native land). The more humid and greener coastal regions are slightly wealthier, and historically dominated by sugarcane, but they’re equally poor.

Amazonas is now a rather awkward stickout on maps, with the originality of being Serra’s weakest state (8.5%) and one of Dilma’s strongest (65%) while being surrounded by some of Serra’s best states. The state is very poor (but so are Acre and Roraima), but has benefited a lot from federal funding since 2002 and the PSDB’s policies in regards to trade are rather unpopular in the Manaus Free Trade Zone. Some might be led into thinking that Amazonas is heavily Native (‘Indian’), but in fact Roraima has the highest native population, albeit only 4% or so. On the topic of Roraima, as well as Rondônia and southwestern Pará, the relative strength of the right in those regions is likely due to land use patterns, with a lot of big soy farms (like in Mato Grosso and the western Centre-West region as a whole) and important agrobusiness in the area. The fact that most inhabitants in those regions (who are largely white) settled there during the military regime probably also plays a role. Evangelical voters – who lean more to the right (Democrats in particular, PSDB much less so) than Catholics are also found in large numbers in the isolated regions of the North. Unsurprisingly, given Marina’s staunch opposition to hydroelectric dams and agrobusiness developments in general, she did extremely poorly (between 1 and 7% generally) in the ‘blue’ municipalities of the North and Centre-West.

In the densely populated South and South-West, Serra did best in the wealthiest municipalities, which can be defined as forming a rough string between the northeastern part of Rio Grande do Sul, into the coastal regions of Santa Catarina and Paraná and ending up in São Paulo and the Paraiba Valley. He won the city of São Paulo 40-38 (a map of the vote in the city’s boroughs can be found here); though Dilma won most of the industrial ABC belt (including Lula’s union base of São Bernardo do Campo) though obviously she did badly in places like São Caetano do Sul (the wealthiest municipality in Brazil, which forms the ‘C’ of the ABC belt). Serra also generally dominated in most of the Paulista countryside, though Dilma did well in the industrial areas in and around Campinas, the state’s other main population centre.

Elections are usually won in Minas Gerais, and Dilma won there by a 16 point margin over Serra. Serra was confined to the wealthier, whiter rural areas of southwestern Minas Gerais, while Dilma crushed him by huge margins, often raking up 60-70% of the vote. However, in Belo Horizonte, the state capital and one of the wealthiest towns in Brazil, Marina Silva won 39.88% to Dilma’s 30.92% and Serra’s 27.73%.

Marina Silva won or did well in urban centres, especially those wealthy, educated and younger towns. Belo Horizonte is one of those towns, but a better example is Brasilia – Marina won the DF easily with nearly 42% of the vote, more than 10 points ahead of Dilma. Brasilia is a largely educated, well-off town with a lot of public servants. Marina also did well in Rio (31.91% – a map of the vote in the city’s boroughs can be found here), Niteroi (37.05%), Recife (36.73%), Natal (29.41%), Salvador (30.21%), Fortaleza (31.39%), Manaus (35.9%), Macapa (34.81%) and Rio Branco (35.64%  – her home town). All these towns reflect an averagely well-off, middle-aged to young and very educated electorate common to almost all Green parties in the world. She also performed well in some seaside resort communities such as Vila Velha (ES) and places slightly east of Rio de Janeiro. The second part of her electorate, which can explain her good results in states like Rio but also Amapá and Espírito Santo is an evangelical base, attached to her more for her image as an evangelical than for her program (she is not a social conservative, or at least not unusually social conservative in the national context).

The mere fact that Serra wasn’t knocked out of contention by the first round has given new hope, futile hope, to the PSDB that they still have a shot at winning. In fact, it really doesn’t. Dilma is a mere 3% away from a majority, so on paper she needs barely any votes from Marina Silva. Thus, Marina isn’t necessarily the kingmaker (or queenmaker) she wants to be nor the kingmaker certain make her. She is likely to announce whether or not she endorses somebody in the next 15 days, and has put questions such as abortion (where she wants a referendum on the issue), forestry and the environment on the table. Some say that given that she left her job in the Senate to run for President, she could be interested in negotiating a way into cabinet for herself, though it is hard to envision such a scenario. She is on bad terms with Dilma, with whom she often feuded in the past when they were both in cabinet (especially when Dilma was energy minister). They also disagree on the issue of new hydroelectric power in the Amazon as well as the growth of agrobusiness (such as soy) in the North and Centre-West. Furthermore, while she has already said her personal decision might contradict that of the Green Party, the PV itself seems to be leaning more towards Serra and the second most well-known Green, Fernando Gabeira (PV-RJ) has already endorsed Serra.

The average Green voter has been explained above briefly and divided into two classes. The first demographic, the educated rather affluent urban voter, is more similar to the average Serra voter than the average Dilma voter. For example, all but one of the districts that Marina won in Rio voted for Alckmin in the first round of 2006. Their vote for Marina over the other two could reflect discontent with the two-coalition system which is growing in Brazil, and their vote in the runoff could be a “least worst” vote. The results in Belo Horizonte, Brasilia and Rio will be good guides on election night as to how this electorate split in the runoff. The second demographic, poorer and evangelical, might be guided more by their church and pastor than by the candidate. This is where the touchy issue of abortion comes into play, because these voters likely abandoned Dilma’s ship in the last few days after the rumours that she was pro-choice started swirling. They might be harder to catch than one might think, and that’s why the PT is seriously considering turning around on abortion to adopt a more conservative position in order to court the evangelical vote.


Nine out of 27 races will end in a runoff on October 31. In general, these gubernatorial races were generally more favourable to the right than federal-level races were. The right was comforted with big wins in Brazil’s two most populous states, São Paulo and Minas Gerais.

Out of 18 states won outright, the PSDB has 4 governors’ mansions, as does the PT and PMDB. The PSB has two, tied with the Democrats. The PMN, a small party aligned with the opposition, has one.

In Acre, the result was pretty boggling. Tião Viana (PT) was expected to easily defeat Tião Bocalom (PSDB), who was a low-key paper candidate, but instead he got a very close race and managed squeak out a win only narrowly with 50.51% to Bocalom’s 49.18%. The PT has ruled in Acre for the last 12 years or so, which indicates that some important change is perhaps taking place in the state’s politics.

In Alagoas, the incumbent Governor, Teo Vilela (PSDB) was a dead man walking a few months ago, but by the first round he placed well ahead of his two main rivals, taking 39.58% of the vote and a comfortable first place ahead of the runoff. A big endorsement from the popular mayor of Maceió helped him a lot, as did his cozying up with Lula (despite being in an opposition party) in a state where Lula is pretty popular. The other surprise was for second place, which went to former Governor Ronaldo Lessa (PDT), who won 29.16%; narrowly pulling ahead of disgraced President, former Governor and incumbent Senator Fernando Collor (PTB) who won only 28.81%. Collor was thought to be the favourite a few months ago and was still considered likely to get into the runoff just days ago, but narrowly missed out on the runoff. The runoff will likely be one of the key races to watch for on October 31. Teo Vilela is favoured, but in a shocking turn of events, Collor endorsed his former enemy, Lessa, for the runoff. Collor, who defeated Lessa in the 2006 senatorial contest, would prefer to have Lessa as Governor as he runs for re-election in 2014.

In Amazonas, incumbent Governor Omar Aziz (PMN) won a landslide re-election, taking 63.87% of the votes against 25.91% for Senator Alfredo Nascimento (PR), a former Lula cabinet minister. The PPS’ Hissa Abrahão won 9.36%.

In Amapá, the incumbent Governor Pedro Paulo (PP) spent some of the last days of his campaign in… jail for corruption. Thankfully, he was easily defeated in his bid for re-election, taking fourth place and only 13.5%. This leaves a runoff between Lucas (PTB), supported by the Sarney machine, and a Sarney rival, Camilo Capiberibe (PSB). Both candidates ended up practically tied, with Lucas ahead with 28.93% and Capiberibe trailing with 28.68%. Jorge Amanjas (PSDB), another Sarney ally, won 28.19% and is likely the kingmaker. Given that the Capiberibe family are the enemies of the Great Sarney Machine in José Sarney’s personal colony, Lucas should be favoured.

Bahia was a great victory for the PT and its candidate, Jaques Wagner, over the previously hegemonic PFL machine led by the late Antonio Carlos Magalhães (ACM). Jaques Wagner’s re-election, over former governor and 2006 rival Paulo Souto (DEM) but also former Lula cabinet minister Geddel Vieira Lima (PMDB), was nothing short of spectacular. Even though he lacked the support of the PMDB, which had been crucial to the PT in 2006, Wagner won a landslide with 63.83% of the vote to Souto’s 16.09% and Geddel’s paltry 15.56%. This plebiscite-like reelection for Wagner is a nice highlight of how the Northeast has shifted far to the left during Lula’s terms.

Ceará Governor Cid Gomes (PSB), brother of Ciro, was easily re-elected against weak opposition with 61.27%. Marcos Cals (PSDB), a paper candidate, did surprisingly well for one, taking 19.51%. He also managed second place against a far more well-known candidate, Lúcio Alcântara (PR), the state’s governor between 2002 and 2006 until he lost to Ciro Gomes.  Lúcio took 16.44% of the vote.

Some runoffs, like that in the Federal District, will be boring. Former cabinet minister Agnelo Queiroz (PT) took 48.41% of the vote, narrowly missing out on a first round win against a fledgling opposition. Joaquim Roriz (PSC), a crook, had his candidacy rejected and gave his candidacy to his wife, Weslian, who still managed 31.50%. Toninho (PSOL) did really well, winning 14.25%, votes which should ensure a landslide win for Agnelo in the runoff. A Green candidate also won 5.64% of the vote.

We knew that in Espírito Santo Renato Casagrande (PSB) would win a first term easily, but that easily? His crushing victory with a full 82.30% of the vote surprised some. Luiz Paulo (PSDB) only managed 15.50% of the vote against the Senator and incoming Governor.

Another interesting runoff in the offing in Goiás, where former governor and incumbent Senator Marconi Perillo (PSDB) missed out on a first round win narrowly, taking 46.33%. He will face the PMDB’s Iris Rezende, a former governor as well, in the runoff. Though Perillo used to be allied with incumbent Governor Alcides Rodrigues (PP), who was in fact his chosen successor in 2006, the two have broken up and the incumbent supported Vanderlan (PR) to succeed him. Vanderlan won 16.62%, but if he supports Rezende, which is quite likely, it means this race is a key tossup.

In Maranhão, incumbent Govenor Roseana Sarney (PMDB) won re-election by the first round, defeating notably her 2006 rival, Jackson Lago (PDT), who defeated her four years ago (but was later forced out of office for vote buying). She narrowly escaped a runoff, which are really perilous for her, with 50.08% of the vote. In second place was the PCdoB’s Flávio Dino with 29.49%. Disgraced Jackson Lago (PDT), the de-facto right-winger in the race, got a paltry 19.54%. Daddy’s girl will likely be happy she escaped a runoff.

In the end, Minas Gerais was not much fun. After surging in the last month, as I had predicted, incumbent Governor Antonio Anastasia (PSDB), supported by outgoing governor Aécio Neves, won rather easily over the earlier favourite, former Lula cabinet minister and Senator Hélio Costa (PMDB). Anastasia won a crushing 62.72% to Hélio’s 34.18%. This third consecutive PSDB win in Minas Gerais, the country’s second most populous, this time on the back of Aécio’s popularity, is an important boost the PSDB at the state level. This, combined with power in São Paulo, gives it important leverage on the state level.

Mato Grosso do Sul incumbent Governor Andre Puccinelli (PMDB – right-wing) was easily reelected with 56% against former governor Zeca do PT’s 42.5%.

In office only since the spring, Mato Grosso Governor Silval Barbosa (PMDB) was easily re-elected. He won 51.21% of the vote, while his closest rival, Mauro Mendes (PSB) won 31.85%. Wilson Santos (PSDB) won 16.55%.

Pará‘s Governor, Ana Julia (PT) is in a very bad shape for reelection though she escaped a first round ousting against former governor Simão Jatene (PSDB). Ana Julia has 36.05% against 48.92% for Simão Jatene. The 10.85% garnered by independent PMDB candidate Juvenil could help her, but Simão Jatene will win the runoff easily.

A surprising result in Paraíba where the predicted easy win for Governor Ze Maranhão (PMDB) was not. The incumbent fell to a narrow second, with 49.30% of the vote against 49.74% for Ricardo Coutinho (PSB – right-wing). The rest of the vote went to far-left sects and the PSOL, votes that could place the incumbent over the top. Another boost for Maranhão is an endorsement from Toinho do Sopão (PTN), who got the most votes for state deputy, and who endorsed him over Coutinho, who has the support of the PTN (which is a fake party). It’s still a key tossup.

As expected, Pernambuco Governor Eduardo Campos (PSB) won a huge landslide, winning 82.84% of the vote overall, nearly 6% better than Aécio Neves’ huge win in MG-2006. He trounced former governor and incumbent Senator Jarbas Vasconcelos (PMDB – right-wing) badly, leaving Jarbas with only 14.06% of the vote. Eduardo Campos will be term-limited in 2014, when Jarbas is up for re-election. Therefore, we could see a third Campos-Jarbas contest then, this time for Senate.

Piauí has a runoff too, but it’s pretty boring. Governor Wilson Martins (PSB), in office since the spring, won 46.37%. Silvio Mendes (PSDB) won 30.08%, while another candidate on the left, João Vicente (PTB) won 21.54%. João Vicente endorsed Wilson Martins, meaning that he’ll win easily in the runoff.

Those hoping for a nice race in Paraná were let down by the easy win there by former Curitiba mayor Beto Richa (PSDB), who won 52.44%, easily beating Senator Osmar Dias (PDT) who won 45.63%. A last-minute poll had shown the race tied 45-45, after weeks of catchup by Osmar Dias, but Beto Richa won by a surprisingly strong margin. His popularity in the capital, Curitiba, likely played a big role in his win.

In Rio de Janeiro, Governor Sergio Cabral (PMDB) won a second-term with no trouble, winning the first round with 66.08% against a paltry 20.68% for Fernando Gabeira (PV – right-wing). Fernando Peregrino (PR), the candidate supported by well-known local politician and former governor Anthony Garotinho did well, winning 10.81%. I like to poke fun at the fact that Cabral spends a lot of time away on vacation, but aside from the PT’s support, he also has a good record with crime, definitely the big issue in Rio. Crime rates dropped quite a bit under his tenure, despite the well-mediatized hostage situation during the summer.

A rare bright spot in Rio Grande do Norte for the declining Democrats, who picked up a PSB seat by the first round with a big win from Senator Rosalba Ciarlini (DEM) over incumbent Governor Iberê Souza (PSB). Rosalba won 52.46% of the vote against Ibere’s 36.25%. Former Natal mayor Carlos Eduardo Alves (PDT) did poorly, winning 10.37% of the vote. Iberê, in office since the spring, had some health problems and the administration of her predecessor, Vilma, who ran for Senate, was rather unpopular.

In Rondônia, Governor João Cahulla (PPS) took office only in the spring and is facing a tough fight for re-election. By the first round, he had 37.14% of the vote against PMDB candidate Confúcio Moura who won 43.99%. PT candidate Eduardo Valverde won 18.16% of the vote, while a top contender, PSDB Senator Expedito Júnior saw his votes discarded because his candidacy is still question to judicial review. At any rate, Expedito Júnior endorsed the PMDB candidate, giving Confúcio Moura a further edge for the runoff.

In Roraima, Governor Anchieta (PSDB), another of those new incumbents, is also in hot water for reelection, trailing PP candidate Neudo Campos with 45.03% to Campos’ 47.62%. With the support of Dr. Petronio (PHS), who won 6.39%, his reelection, however, becomes far more likely. Definitely a runoff to watch.

In Rio Grande do Sul, the PT’s Tarso Genro, who lost in 2006, won his revenge easily, with a big win over former Porto Alegre mayor José Fogaça (PMDB – right-wing) and incumbent Governor Yeda Crusius (PSDB). Tarso won 54.35% of the vote, while Fogaça won 24.74%. Yeda Crusius has been unpopular for a long time and was sure to go down (and badly), and she won only 18.40%, though that’s a bit better than the 15% most people gave her. There is a definite tendency in Brazil that women politicians and officeholders are held to a much higher standard than males and thus punished far more badly than males when they screw up. I dare say that if Yeda Crusius had been a male, she’d have done quite a bit better than that.

In Santa Catarina, former mayor of Florianópolis Ângela Amin (PP) was the favourite until a late surge by Senator Raimundo Colombo (DEM), supported by the PMDB, had her in. Raimundo Colombo won outright with 52.72%, while Ângela Amin took 24.91%. The PT’s Ideli Salvatti won 21.90%. Ângela Amin, well known and well liked in the state, was relying largely on her personal appeal more than partisan support, but she suffered from a late swing by traditional right-wing PP voters from the PP to the Democrats.

In Sergipe, Governor Marcelo Déda (PT) won re-election over his predecessor and old PFL politico João Alves Filho (DEM), taking 52.08% of the vote to João Alves’ 45.19%. Déda had defeated then-Governor João Alves Filho by the exact same margin in 2006.

São Paulo is undoubtedly one of the big prizes in Brazilian gubernatorial races, and this time again it was held easily by the PSDB against the PT. Former Governor and 2006 presidential candidate Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB) was running for a second non-consecutive term against Aloizio Mercadante, an old PT stalwart. Alckmin won 50.63%, less than what Serra had won in 2006, against 35.23% fro Mercadante. Celso Russomanno (PP) took a paltry 5.42%, much lower than predicted, while the PSB’s Paulo Skaf won 4.56%. A Green candidate won 4.13% of the vote, finishing fifth. Alckmin still won the state by a much more decisive margin than his colleague Serra did in the presidential race.

The Tocantins gubernatorial contest was a close one-on-one contest between incumbent Governor Carlos Gaguim (PMDB), who despite being in office only since September 2009, had already managed to become a crook attempting to divert one billion reais; and the state’s first and later three-term Governor, Siqueira Campos (PSDB). Siqueira Campos narrowly won, with 50.52%, against 49.48% for the incumbent criminal, who had been honest enough to say that he was going to hell when the world ended.


The outgoing Senate, two-thirds of which had been elected in 2002, had a large right-wing caucus of varying shades, notably a large old PFL caucus from the Northeast and a weak PT bench. After this election, the government now has a clear unambiguous majority in the Senate, while the Democrats have suffered heavily. A number of big names from the opposition were taken down by a “red wave” in the Nordeste this year, marking a further evolution in the region’s fast-evolving politics.

PMDB 21 seats (+4)
PT 14 seats (+5)
PSDB 10 seats (-6)
DEM 6 seats (-7)
PTB 6 seats (-1)
PP 5 seats (+4)
PR 4 seats (nc)
PDT 4 seats (-2)
PSB 3 seats (+1)
PCdoB 2 seats (+1)
PSOL 2 seats (+1)
PRB 1 seat (-1)
PPS 1 seat (+1)
PSC 1 seat (nc)
PMN 1 seat (+1)

O Globo classifies 55 of these 81 senators as being pro-government, 22 as being anti-government and four being independent. Results in three states may change when the courts will decide whether to allow or reject the candidacies of key candidates who would have won a seat if their votes had been counted. As it stands now, votes cast for these politicians under judicial review under the Ficha Limpa (clean slate) law were not counted, but they will or will not be counted officially if and when the courts approve their candidacies.

When looking at these races by state, don’t forget that this year two seats were up, meaning that each voter had two votes. The votes were added up, summed to 100% and the top two candidates won. In polls, however, responses added up to 200%. In Senate races, the votes cast are about double the votes cast for president/governor, meaning that if one wants to know overall how many individual voters voted for a candidate, double his percentage and that should tell you (I think, I’m bad at math) the percentage of people who voted for said candidate. Anyway, here’s a look at how the races broke down by state:

Acre: Jorge Viana (PT), the brother of the new governor, narrowly won first place with 31.77% while the right-wing PMN’s Petecão took second place, with 30.90%. Some had thought that the second name on the left-wing slate, Edvaldo Magalhães (PCdoB) could win the second seat, but in the end he fall far short with only 19.13% and barely ahead of João Correia (PMDB right-wing) who won 18.21%.
Seats: 1 PT, 1 PMN. 2007-2015 term: Tião Viana (PT) will be replaced by Aníbal Diniz (PT)

Alagoas: Not much luck for clean government campaigners in Alagoas, with the election of two rather unsavoury and not too clean figures. Federal deputy Benedito de Lira (PP), an old pro-military stooge and ambulance leeches culprit, surged late in the campaign and won a surprising first place overall with 35.94%. This forced incumbent senator and former President of the Senate Renan Calheiros (PMDB) to take the second seat, with 33.42%. Renan had been forced out of his job after a long scandal, Renangate, in which he was accused of accepting funds from lobbyists to pay an illegitimate daughter he had had with a journalist. Former senator and 2006 presidential candidate Heloísa Helena (PSOL) won only 16.6% in the end, falling far short of a seat.
Seats: 1 PP, 1 PMDB. 2007-2015 term: Fernando Collor (PTB)

Amazonas: The main highlight of this election was the defeat of incumbent senator Arthur Virgílio (PSDB), one of the opposition’s top firebrands and a big critic of Lula’s government. Even though he managed 21.91% in a state where Serra won barely 8%, indicating a big personal vote, he fell in third place behind Vanessa Grazziotin (PCdoB) who won 22.89% and former governor Eduardo Braga (PMDB) who won an extremely strong 42.07%. Remember, these results add up to 100% but in reality each voter had two votes, so one can estimate that Braga won the votes of 84% of the state’s voters. Another incumbent, Jefferson Praia (PDT) also fell, winning a mere 8.27%, though he was in a weak shape for reelection at the outset.
Seats: 1 PMDB, 1 PCdoB. 2007-2015 term: Alfredo Nascimento (PR)

Amapá: In this not-so-clean race, whose victors could yet change, the big surprise was the big vote for Randolfe Rodrigues (PSOL), who won 38.94% of the votes. Randolfe, a former leader of the painted-faces 1992 Collor impeachment movement, had the support of Lucas Barreto (PTB), who is in first place in the gubernatorial contest, but this coalition won him a disendorsement from the PSOL. In second place, for now, is Gilvam Borges (PMDB), a shady Sarney stooge, who took 23.19%. Former Governor Waldez Goes (PDT), who spent some time in jail recently along with his acolyte and outgoing governor Pedro Paulo (PP), won only 20.45% of the vote and will not win a seat. Votes cast for João Capiberibe (PSB), a Sarney enemy, were disqualified under the Ficha Limpa law (he was deemed dirty in slightly shady circumstances), but if his candidacy is approved, he would be elected in Gilvam Borges’ stead.
Seats: 1 PSOL, 1 PMDB. 2007-2015 term: José Sarney (PMDB)

Bahia: A big red wave in this big Northeastern state carried incumbent senator César Borges (PR), albeit a rebellious ally of Lula, away. Supported by Geddel (PMDB), who broke with the President and the PT, César Borges was trounced with only 13.52% of the votes, leaving him with no chance against the two official left-wing candidates, PT deputy Walter Pinheiro and former Salvador mayor Lídice da Mata (PSB). Walter Pinheiro took 31% while Lídice won 28.90%. Lower down, José Ronaldo (DEM) took a mere 9.33% and his friend Aleluia (DEM) won 8.12%. Geddel ally and former bionic mayor Edvaldo Brito (PTB) won 6.92%.
Seats: 1 PT, 1 PSB. 2007-2015 term: João Durval (PDT)

Ceará: This race almost had me fall off my chair on election night, and many other people likely fell off outright. One of those people who fell off was Senator Tasso Jereissati (PSDB), a well-known tucano and longtime local politician (serving as governor in the past). Considered a shoo-in for re-election by all, the wave carried him away in a big shock. He won 23.70% and distant third, against 36.32% for Eunício Oliveira (PMDB) and José Pimentel (PT) with 32.39%. Alexandre Pereira (PPS) won 6.35%. The defeat of Jereissati is a big win for Lula, very popular in this state, and certainly a shock to many old right-wing Northeastern politicians (though Jereissati was by far the least distasteful of them all).
Seats: 1 PMDB, 1 PT. 2007-2015 term: Inácio Arruda (PCdoB)

In the Federal District, a big win for two left-wingers of various shades. Incumbent senator, former governor and former Lula ally Cristovam Buarque (PDT) was easily reelected with 37.27%. His running mate, Rollemberg (PSB) won 33.03%. Alberto Fraga (DEM) won 22.87%, while votes cast for former governor Maria de Lourdes Abadia (PSDB) were disqualified under the Ficha Limpa law. Even if they’re counted, she doesn’t have enough to wrestle a seat away from the left. 
Seats: 1 PDT, 1 PSB. 2007-2015 term: Gim Argello (PTB)

In Espírito Santo, riding on the wave of Renato Casagrande (PSB), the two top candidates of his coalition won easily. Vice Governor Ricardo Ferraço (PMDB) won 44.55% (which means nearly 90% voted for him) while incumbent senator Magno Malta (PR), a controversial evangelical ex-pastor won 36.76%. A mere 10.74% for Rita Camata (PSDB).
Seats: 1 PMDB, 1 PR. 2007-2015 term: Ana Rita (PT) will replace Renato Casagrande (PSB)

Snooze in Goiás, with two easy wins for the two incumbents (one of two states where both incumbents won reelection). Demóstenes Torres (DEM) won 44.09% while Lúcia Vânia (PSDB) won 30.56%. The PT’s Pedro Wilson won 17.95% and Paulo Roberto Cunha (PP) 4.65%.
Seats: 1 DEM, 1 PSDB. 2007-2015 term: Cyro Giffor (PSDB), suplente for Marconi Perillo (PSDB)

Sarney stooges win big in Maranhão, with incumbent senator Edson Lobão (PMDB), a close ally of the Sarney clan and a former energy and mines minister in Lula’s cabinet, taking 32.74%. His friend (and Sarney clan ally) João Alberto won 29.74%. In very distant third, Zé Reinaldo (PSB), a former governor and former Sarney ally, now aligned with his enemies, won 13.99%. Roberto Rocha (PSDB) won 12.36% and Edson Vidigal (PSDB) won 9.67%.
Seats: 2 PMDB. 2007-2015 term: Epitácio Cafeteira (PTB)

In Mato Grosso, the first seat saw a big win for former governor and soy king Blairo Maggi (PR, declared wealth of US$86 million). He won 37.08% of the votes (and far more raw votes than the winner in the governor’s race). A bit of a surprise for the second seat, which went to Pedro Taques (PDT) with 24.48%. He defeated Maggi’s ally Carlos Abicalil (PT) who won 18.43%. Antero Paes de Barros (PSDB) won only 11.92%. 
Seats: 1 PR, 1 PDT. 2007-2015 term: Jayme Campos (DEM)

In Mato Grosso do Sul, incumbent Senator Delcídio do Amaral (PT) won reelection easily, taking up 34.90%. The second seat, which went to Waldemir Moka (PMDB right-wing) with 23% was a three-way contest. Murilo Zauith (DEM) won 21.61%, followed closely by Dagoberto Nogueira (PDT) who won 20.49%.
Seats: 1 PT, 1 PMDB. 2007-2015 term: Marisa Serrano (PSDB)

Predictable in Minas Gerais, a key senate contest, which produced the expected results. Wildly popular former governor Aécio Neves (PSDB) won easily with 39.47%. In second place, his colleague and former President Itamar Franco (PPS) who wins the second seat with 26.74%. The PT’s Fernando Pimentel had gained speed in the last few days, but his 23.98% were not enough to overtake Itamar. He could have won if his running mate, Zito Vieira (PCdoB) had polled a bit less than 7.76%.
Seats: 1 PSDB, 1 PPS. 2007-2015 term: Eliseu Resende (DEM)

Honesty isn’t a virtue in Pará, where most people (57.24% of them) had their votes invalidated for voting for a candidate whose votes were not counted. Right now, Flexa Ribeiro (PSDB), not too clean himself (he spent a few days in jail already) but cleaner than his friends, wins 67.73% of the valid votes. In second, for now, is Marinor Brito (PSOL) with 27.11%. The final outcomes hinges on whether or not votes cast for Jader Barbalho (PMDB), incumbent federal deputy seeking to recover a senate seat he had resigned from in 2002 following the SUDAM scandal (where he set up fraudulent businesses, such as a frog farm, to launder money for himself), are valid. If they are, he ousts Marinor Brito for the second seat. Paulo Rocha (PT), a mensaleiros crook, also didn’t have his votes counted, but he does not enough to win.
Seats: 1 PSDB, 1 PSOL. 2007-2015 term: Mário Couto (PSDB)

Paraíba‘s final results could also change as a result of a court decision over votes cast for former governor Cássio Cunha Lima (PSDB) are counted. If they are, he would win. The victory of Vitalzinho (PMDB) with 35.37% is assured, but Wilson Santiago (PMDB), with 33.39% would fall if the former governor’s votes are counted. Incumbent senator Efraim Moraes (DEM) won 28.17%.
Seats: 2 PMDB. 2007-2015 term: Cícero Lucena (PSDB)

A big result in Pernambuco with the epic takedown of a big name, Marco Maciel (DEM). Marco Maciel, who has served a total of 18 years in the Senate, 8 years as VP (under Cardoso) and 3 years as governor, has finally lost in a major blow to the old military clique. He lost badly, taking only 11.86%. In first place, Armando Monteiro (PTB left-wing) with 39.87%, who surprisingly outpolled a well-known state cabinet minister in Humberto Costa (PT) who won 38.82%. Given that Armando Monteiro was presented as the man to vote for to get rid of Marco Maciel, people probably loaded his votes on him and propelled him to first place. Raul Jungmann (PPS), Marco Maciel’s ally, won 7.61%. 
Seats: 1 PTB, 1 PT. 2007-2015 term: Jarbas Vasconcelos (PMDB)

Two right-wingers down in Piauí. Former governor Wellington Dias (PT), very popular, won the first seat with 32.52%. In second place, federal deputy Ciro Nogueira Lima Filho (PP), something of a right-winger, who won 22.69%. However, two right-wing incumbents went down. Mão Santa (PSC), thought to be the best positioned of the two, took third with 14.14%. Heráclito Fortes (DEM), another old right-wing clique figure, lost reelection badly taking 13.84%, only managing fourth ahead of Antonio José Medeiros (PT) who won 13.44%.
Seats: 1 PT, 1 PP. 2007-2015 term: João Vicente Claudino (PTB)

In Paraná, a close call for former governor Roberto Requião (PMDB), who squeaked out his seat with 24.84%, placing second behind Gleisi Hoffman (PT) who wins 29.50%. For most of the night, federal deputy Gustavo Fruet (PSDB) trailed in a very close third, with 23.10%, almost enough to take down Requião. Ricardo Barros (PP), allied with Fruet, won 20.22%.
Seats: 1 PT, 1 PMDB. 2007-2015 term: Álvaro Dias (PSDB)

Rio de Janeiro saw an interesting contest in the end. Another of the campaign’s late-surgers, Lindberg Farias (PT), a former UNE student leader, won easily with 28.65%. That means that a key figure in the 1992 Collor impeachment marches will serve alongside Collor himself, best of all supporting the same government. In second, controversial conservative Lula ally, gospel singer and evangelical bishop Marcelo Crivella (PRB) won 22.66%. He was almost taken down by Jorge Picciani (PMDB), Lindberg’s running-mate, who won a surprisingly strong 20.73%. As for César Maia (DEM), the former mayor of Rio and a well-known local politician, who was thought to be a favourite only a few months ago, he wins 11.06%. Waguinho (PTdoB), a singer and ally of Garotinho, took 8.81%.
Seats: 1 PT, 1 PRB. 2007-2015 term: Francisco Dornelles (PP)

Dynasties still rule supreme in Rio Grande do Norte, with easy reelections for the incumbents. Garibaldi Alves Filho (PMDB) won reelection easily with 35.03%. José Agripino Maia (DEM), the other incumbent, took second with 32.23%. In a contest against José Agripino Maia, the cousin of her ex, former governor Wilma de Faria (PSB) took only 21.89% and lost quite badly. Hugo Manso (PT) won 7.53%. With the election of the other senator, Rosalba Ciarlini (DEM) to the governor’s office, her suplente, Garibaldi Alves (PMDB) will join his son in the Senate. Nice family.
Seats: 1 PMDB, 1 DEM. 2007-2015 term: Garibaldi Alves (PMDB) replaces Rosalba Ciarlini (DEM)

In Rondônia, the Ficha Limpa case has been sorted out already in favour of former governor Ivo Cassol (PP), who takes the second seat with 32.34%. Incumbent senator Valdir Raupp (PMDB) wins first, with 34.29%. However, the other incumbent, Fátima Cleide (PT) is defeated, taking 16.05%. Agnaldo Muniz (PSC) won 13.36%.
Seats: 1 PMDB, 1 PP. 2007-2015 term: Acir Gurgacz (PDT)

In Roraima, the pure opportunist Romero Jucá (PMDB), leader of the government in the Senate (who was also leader of the government for Cardoso…) has won reelection with 27.91%. Angela Portela (PT) wins the second seat with 26.15%, she defeats Marluce Pinto (PSDB) who won 21.42%, a personal rival. Marluce Pinto is the widow of former governor Ottomar Pinto (PSDB), who was a distasteful figure and military ally.
Seats: 1 PMDB, 1 PT. 2007-2015 term: Mozarildo Cavalcanti (PTB)

Not much surprise in Rio Grande do Sul, where Germano Rigotto (PMDB right-wing), former governor defeated in 2006, lost another election. He took third with 21.24%. That placed him behind journalist Ana Amélia Lemos (PP) who won 29.54% and also incumbent senator Paulo Paim (PT), who won 33.83%, surprisingly strong showing. Abgail Pereira (PCdoB) won 13.47%.
Seats: 1 PT, 1 PP. 2007-2015 term: Pedro Simon (PMDB)

In Santa Catarina, not much fun. Former governor Luiz Henrique da Silveira (PMDB right-wing) won easily, taking 28.44%. The PSDB’s Paulo Bauer took the second seat with 25.32%, comfortably ahead of Cláudio Vignatti (PT) who polled 19.44% while Hugo Biehl (PP), an ally of Ângela Amin, took 10.35%.
Seats: 1 PMDB, 1 PSDB. 2007-2015 term: Casildo Maldaner (PMDB) will replace Raimundo Colombo (DEM)

Boring stuff in Sergipe as well. Eduardo Amorim (PSC), a federal deputy allied with the left, won 33.65% and the first seat while incumbent Senator Antônio Carlos Valadares (PSB) won 25.62% and the second seat. In third, the PSDB’s Albano Franco won 18.29% and Machado (DEM) won 13.99%.
Seats: 1 PSC, 1 PSB. 2007-2015 term: Maria do Carno Alves (DEM)

A surprising result in São Paulo, with a very surprising easy victory for PSDB federal deputy for Aloysio Nunes, down even in the final polls (though he had surged in the last few days, ever since Quercia dropped out). Aloysio Nunes, in the end, came first, far ahead of the rest, with 30.42%. His election was certainly one of the most surprising moments on election night. For the second seat, former mayor Marta Suplicy (PT) had to fight with popular black singer Netinho de Paula (PCdoB – her running-mate) to get it. She took 22.61%, and Netinho de Paula took 21.14%, meaning that Netinho de Paula, presumed to be on his way to the Senate, lost out narrowly in the end. A very fine and surprising fourth for Ricardo Young (PV), who polled an excellent 11.20% and in the process managed to outpoll incumbent senator Romeu Tuma (PTB right-wing) who won only 10.79%. Romeu Tuma, however, had already been down by a lot in the end and he was a dead man walking (which is perhaps not the best joke ever given that some fake rumour transformed into ‘news’ regarding his alleged death circulated late in the campaign). 
Seats: 1 PSDB, 1 PT. 2007-2015 term: Eduardo Suplicy (PT)

In Tocantins finally, reelection was easy for João Ribeiro (PR) who won 27.96%. In second place, former governor Marcelo Miranda (PMDB) won 25.41%. Vicentinho Alves (PR), allied with Ribeiro, won 24.77% while 21.86% voted for Paulo Mourão (PT).
Seats: 1 PR, 1 PMDB. 2007-2015 term: Kátia Abreu (DEM)

Chamber of Deputies

In the Chamber, the government overall increased its majority to a supermajority of over 60%, which allows it to alter the constitution and pass legislation more easily. The PT overtook the PMDB to form the largest caucus in the Chamber, which places a petista as the likely future President of the Chamber. The leader of the government in the Chamber, Cândido Vaccarezza (PT-SP) is a likely contender.

The Chamber uses a bizarre and bad electoral system in which voters vote for individual candidates, but votes cast for candidates will count towards that candidate’s party/list and it is that party raw vote result (the sum of the votes cast for the party’s different candidates, basically) which is divided by the total number of votes cast to get the party’s quotient in the specific state. Therefore, celebrity candidates are a good deal for parties in Brazil, given that the system is favourable to those kinds of candidates who can draw a lot of votes. Their votes can drag paper candidates lower down on their list into Congress, and despite the uselessness of parties, the more seats a party has, the more leverage it has in Congress (most Brazilian parties are best understood as lobbies) and the more pork and graft it can garner for itself and its members. One of the most atrocious examples of this system is in São Paulo back in 2002, when the small far-right PRONA got 5 seats on the back of over a million votes cast for its popular charismatic leader Eneas, but the party’s other candidates barely had 1,000 votes apiece. However, Eneas’ big vote (in fact, the biggest vote for an individual in any Brazilian congressional election ever) won the party 5 seats, four of which went to people who got very few votes. As a result, you often get candidates with big votes who don’t win because their coalition overall didn’t get enough votes.

As for their likely incompetence, it isn’t much of a worry given that Congress is full of crooks to begin with and that competence has never been a worry for them. Plus, for those in power it’s probably a win-win given that the celebrities are likely not too smart and can easily be bought for anything.

The new makeup of the Chamber, compared to dissolution of the precedent legislature, is as follows:

PT 88 (+9)
PMDB 79 (-11)
PSDB 53 (-6)
DEM 43 (-13)
PP 41 (+1)
PR 41 (nc)
PSB 34 (+7)
PDT 28 (+5)
PTB 21 (-1)
PSC 17 (+1)
PCdoB 15 (+3)
Green 15 (+1)
PPS 12 (-3)
PRB 8 (+1)
PMN 4 (+1)
PSOL 3 (nc)
PTdoB 3 (+2)
PHS 2 (-1)
PRP 2 (+2)
PRTB 2 (+2)
PSL 1 (+1)
PTC 1 (-1)

The Chamber website counts 311 of these as being allied with the government (the parties included in this calculation all officially endorsed Dilma), 111 as being opposition (the traditional right and the PSOL) and a further 91 as independents (the parties included in this calculation supported the Lula government but did not endorse Dilma, aka they’re opportunists with no shame in admitting it).

The general rule in Chamber elections is that a party’s caucus will be 15 more or less than the party’s caucus at dissolution. That rule holds in this election as well.

The Democrats suffered heavily this election, down from 56 at dissolution and 65 in 2006. The ‘Northeast Revolution’ of 2006/2010 has clearly hurt them a lot. Their 2007 attempt to re-invent itself as a modern, David Cameron-imitating right-liberal party flopped epically; given that they’re still mostly old corrupt oligarchs.

The so-called “left block” of the PSB, PDT and PCdoB did well, winning 77 seats overall. With the PT’s 88 seats, this so-called left has 165 seats. However, the balance of power remains in the hand of the fisiológicos, these corrupt opportunistic parties which will support any government. They were heavily involved in the mensalão scandal, and they all supported Lula’s predecessors without any second thoughts. This block, composed of the PMDB, PP, PR and PTB have 182 seats overall. Therefore, if Serra wins, it is not hard to conceive this bulk of 180 some members jumping over the fence to be allied with Serra. A French-style cohabitation would never happen in Brazil.

The Greens won only one seat more than they held at dissolution (and 2 more than in 2006), showing that Marina’s wave was largely confined to the presidential election (though independent PV candidates did decently well for third parties in some senate and gubernatorial races). The PSOL also kept its three seats, including a strong vote for Chico Alencar (PSOL-RJ) in Rio, who took 240,724 votes (second highest vote in the state) and allowed his colleague Jean Wyllys (PSOL-RJ) to win as well, with only 13,018 votes. The PSOL’s deputies are known for being honest and competent deputies, thus their big wins (overall) are not surprising. In the RJ Legislative Assembly, state deputy Marcelo Freixo (PSOL-RJ) was reelected with 177,253 votes, the second highest in the state. Marcelo Freixo is a key enemy of drug cartels and gangs in the state, cartels which have put his head on their “to kill” list.

The top vote getter in 2010 is Tiririca (PR-SP), the clown, who won 1,353,820 votes. He still needs to pass a literacy test before he can actually become a deputy, but his high vote is a good reflection of the use of celebrities by parties, like the PR, to boost their vote. Undoubtedly, Tiririca was a big boost for the PR. Second most voted in Brazil is Anthony Garotinho (PR-RJ) who won 694,862 votes. Garotinho, former governor of Rio, is a big evangelical figure who enjoys attention, staging a hunger strike which he himself later broke because he was hungry (he’s fat, no wonder). He’s also far more of a celebrity than a competent congressman.

Big names elected include 1994 selecão star Romário (PSB-RJ) – in the RJ Legislative Assembly, Bebeto (PDT-RJ), another 1994 star, was also elected. Former goalkeeper Danrlei (PTB-RS) was also elected. Big defeats include former PT president José Genoíno (PT-SP), Senator Serys (PT-MT), and Leonel Brizola’s grandson Brizola Neto (PDT-RJ) was not re-elected.

Overall, 46.4% of the deputies in this legislature are new. That is a unusually high rate, though it was also high in 2006. Congressmen are unpopular in Brazil and people are increasingly angry over corruption scandals involving congressmen, more so than in the past.

Overall, 63 deputies and 3 senators are evangelicals, which as a block makes it the third largest “party” in the Chamber behind only the PT and PMDB. The evangelicals had suffered in 2006 because a lot of their incumbents were in the mensalão, ambulance leeches scandals. They have already announced they would block legislation which goes against “biblical values” like abortion.


Posted on October 9, 2010, in Brazil, Regional and local elections. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. What kind of party is the Social Liberals? Is it what its name implies, or is it like the other parties which has used the type “liberal” in Brazil (fairly non-liberal)? What state is its seat from?

  2. PSL seems like a small party, but perhaps unusually concerned by ideology. It seems right-wing liberal, supporting small government and low intervention into the economy and most famously something like a unique flat tax replacing all other taxes. Its 2006 candidate, Luciano Bivar, supported this unique tax eliminating the income tax and also building military barracks in favelas; he got 0.06% overall.

    Its sole deputy was the least voted in MG, winning thanks to the wonders of Brazilian electoral math by which his coalition (PSL-PMN-PSDC) got enough votes for 2 seats, so he got the second seat on 40000 votes or something. I’m sure he’ll be bought over by a larger party soon enough.

  3. Congratulations for this (as usual) passionating in-depth analysis of Brazilian 2010 elections. I didn’t have the coursage to read everything about each gubernatorial and Senate races, but I still learned many things.

  4. Who are the PMN, the party that won the Amazonas governership? Was Omar Aziz who was previously vice-governor of Amazonas previously corrupt? They use to be part of Lula’s coalition and now Serra’s. Are they still left after 20 years and believe in land reform? If they believe in land reform for the peasant or the big landowner? Do they say one thing and mean the other? There seems to be very little information in either english and portuguese.

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