Food is on the ballot in Brazil’s contentious presidential vote on Sunday, but voters will be presented with their final choice of candidates for the right to choose two heads of state and two vice presidents.
Polls ahead of the poll show incumbent president Dilma Rousseff, a leftist, with more support than the leftist opponent, Aecio Neves.
Ms Rousseff, Brazil’s vice president, is seen as a likely winner, but there is a possibility that a conservative, her former vice president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, could beat her in the two-stage runoff, in which she will have to win one-third of the vote to avoid a repeat of the disastrous last-minute, chaotic, last-minute campaign in 2013, when he won the first vote.
The vote has given fresh impetus to political parties that had been dormant, like the right-wing Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), which has been the third-largest party, but has given up campaigning because none of the front-runners are in a position to win an outright majority.
“I would like to vote for someone who wants to restore the country as it was before 2014,” said Luiz Felipe, a 49-year-old engineer. “With our political system, nobody is really in charge of the country. Lula is the only one who has any ability to do something.”
The vote is likely to be decided in the southern state of Santa Catarina, along with a few other states with large working-class populations. All of the three leading candidates are from the north-east, in the country’s wealthy north, where there is a strong tradition of political participation among the lower classes.
Ms Rousseff’s support is strongest in the north-east, while Mr Neves’ support is strongest in the south. Analysts say that both candidates will make short-term gains in the polls because both are seen as technocrats who are less likely to antagonise their base of support.