Brazil's left-leaning President Dilma Rousseff placed first in Sunday's election, but failed to secure an outright majority of votes and avoid an October 26 runoff, setting up a clash against center-right, pro-business candidate Aécio Neves.
With 99 percent of the ballots counted on Sunday night, Rousseff had 41 percent of the votes, followed by Neves with 34 percent and Marina Silva with 21 percent, according to Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court. A late surge by Neves, and a barrage of attack ads against Silva—who had until recently been polling in second place against Rousseff—catapulted Neves past Silva and into the runoff.
At the center of the struggle between the two parties that have traded leadership of Brazil since 1995—Rousseff's Worker's Party (PT) and Neves's Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB)—is whether business or government will improve the struggling Brazilian economy.
Neves is expected to continue attacks on Rousseff's redistributionist policies, which he says have led to the country's economic slump, while Rousseff is likely to emphasize her party's claim to have brought 35 million Brazilians out of poverty over the past decade. One Rousseff aide told Reuters that the PT will try to cast the campaign as "the elite versus the people."