02 Oct

Voting day is marked by balance between support fields for Lula and Bolsonaro

Updated 11 de October, 2022 at 5:34 pm

  • Lula and Bolsonaro bases balance around 20% in number of profiles. The government support base concentrates a high volume of interactions, maintaining a predominance of the narrative critical towards Lula;
  • Bolsonaro’s supporters cite the so-called “DataPovo” to indicate victory in the first round; Lula’s voters continue to advocate useful voting for the candidate for PT;
  • After the disclosure of an audio in which the PCC leader allegedly declared his vote for Lula, the association between the ex-president and the criminal organization began to circulate again with wide support from the Bolsonaro base. Vetoing news on the topic strengthened the TSE’s “censorship” narrative.

The digital public debate during Election Day was marked by a balance between Lula and Bolsonaro support bases, which had around 20% of the profiles each, reinforcing the polarization that had marked the dispute during the first round. While the progressive camp combined accounted for 65% of the Twitter profiles, in the discussion about the elections, the highest concentration of interactions happened among Bolsonaro supporters, with 36.2% of the engagement. Reinforcing the narrative of criminalization of Lula and reference to the so-called “DataPovo” marked the tone of the government support base. This is what the survey by the Communication School of FGV shows, which analyzed about 1.6 million tweets about the election, from 4 p.m. on October 1 to 4 p.m. on October 2.

Causing surprise compared to traditional analysis by face-to-face and telephone surveys, the debate about the 2022 elections on social networks throughout the campaign has frustrated traditional media predictions, showing that surveys in (canonical) face-to-face or telephone format do not fully explain social dynamics. Shameful votes or changes through the networks within 48 hours are changing prognoses in unexpected ways. Clearly surveys will have to be increasingly recalibrated by the Internet and networks.


Map of interactions – Twitter


Map of interactions in mentions to presidential candidates in the debate about the elections on Twitter
Period: from 4 p.m. on October 1 to 4 p.m. on October 2



Source: Twitter | Elaborated by: School of Communication, Media and Information at FGV


Non-aligned influencers and anti-Bolsonarists (Pink) – 22.03% of profiles | 16.84% of interactions
Stirred by digital influencers and entertainment channels critical of the federal government, the group celebrates Lula’s victory in countries where the election has already ended, such as New Zealand, Australia, and China. Profiles show fear of taking to the streets with the colors or any identification of the Workers’ Party, due to possible hostile attitudes from opponents, while regretting that the colors of the Brazilian flag would have been usurped by the country’s conservative electorate. Comments recall that many citizens will not vote in this election because they have died due to the Executive’s mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Right wing (Blue) – 20.82% of profiles | 36.21% of interactions
Group led by Jair Bolsonaro’s profile and his supporters, such as journalist Guilherme Fiuza. Among the topics discussed were Donald Trump’s video in support of Bolsonaro and the alleged relationship between Lula and the PCC. The hope of a victory for the candidate for reelection in the first round is nurtured, indicating that the people would be on Bolsonaro’s side.

Political figures and left wing activists (Red) – 20.29% of profiles | 29.03% of interactions
Base built around Lula’s profile and other left wing political figures, such as André Janones. Similar to the pink and orange clusters, there is a strong defense of Lula’s victory in the first round, highlighting the threats to democracy if Bolsonaro is reelected. The president’s request to veto free transportation in Rio de Janeiro also gained prominence.

Left wing students and celebrities (Green) – 12.22% of profiles | 5.60% of interactions
This group is made up of profiles with an anti-Bolsonarist content, in general young students and personalities who position themselves to the left. Memes and humorous phrases are the tone of most of the messages, as well as the manifestation of support for Lula by specific sectors, such as university students.

Artists and left wing personalities (Yellow) – 5.67% of profiles | 2.66% of interactions
Represented by celebrities and digital influencers aligned to the left, this group recognizes that it is useful to vote for Lula in this election, reflecting Bolsonaro’s strong rejection. Other posts are optimistic about the victory of the PT candidate in the first round, and reinforce the commitment that soccer, as far as its athletes and fans are concerned, should maintain with democracy.

Left wing parties and influencers (Orange) – 5.15% of profiles | 2.52% of interactions
Base formed by left wing political parties and influencers that support former president Lula, with the profiles of PT, Maria Bopp, and Felipe Neto standing out. The group mobilizes expectations of a victory for the PT candidate in the first round, in addition to criticizing Bolsonaro and his allies. There is an intersection between the fields of politics, sports, and entertainment, with associations, for example, between Lula and the Flamengo soccer team.

Major tweets inside the groups in the map of interactions on Twitter
Period: from 4 p.m. on October 1 to 4 p.m. on October 2

Source: Twitter | Elaborated by: School of Communication, Media and Information at FGV


Presidential candidates on Twitter

Mentions to the presidential candidates on Twitter
Period: from 4 p.m. on October 1 to 4 p.m. on October 2


Source: Twitter | Elaborated by: School of Communication, Media and Information at FGV


  • Lula and Bolsonaro have evolved quite similarly in the election debate on Twitter, with the PT candidate outpacing the re-election candidate since Sunday morning. The other candidates are far behind in number of mentions;
  • Posts advocating a useful vote for former president Lula to defeat bolsonarism persist, especially with the release of the latest opinion polls early last night, when the PT candidate had a peak in mentions;
  • Bolsonaro’s recent statements about a victory with about 60% of the vote in the first round of voting have dominated the discussion on the eve and on Election Day, with supporters spreading the same unconcerned tone. There is a strong confidence in “Datapovo”, motivated, above all, by the large number of people wearing green and yellow on the streets. It is understood that this criterion would be more reliable than the indexes of the research institutes;
  • Throughout the day, repercussions of the counting in other countries are shared by both fields, extolling the victories of their respective candidates. Bolsonarists are also trying to discredit Lula’s victories abroad, considering that the PT candidate won in most countries. To this end, it is stated that the vote that really matters is the one computed in Brazilian territory.


Word cloud about Election 2022
Period: from 4 p.m. on October 1 to 4 p.m. on October 2


Source: Twitter | Elaborated by: School of Communication, Media and Information at FGV


  • The term “ex-convict”, in reference to Lula, was catapulted by the bolsonarist base as a strategy to “criminalize” the candidate and try to delegitimize the choice for the PT candidate in the last hours before the election;
  • Video of a Bolsonaro voter filming the voting act and mocking the TSE rule made the term electoral crime go viral. Allies of the president celebrated the act, while progressive profiles triggered the court to punish the voter;
  • Pro-Bolsonaro profiles circulate misinformative content that associates the PT candidate with Marcola, head of the PCC, which motivated the use of the term “organized crime supports Lula”. The posts are accompanied by a link from the website O Antagonista, already taken out of circulation, which mentions an alleged interception by the Federal Police in which Marcola, leader of the faction, is said to have declared his vote for the former president;
  • Attempted vote fraud in Portugal echoed on progressive networks, also bringing the term electoral crime. In Lisbon, a man dressed in green and yellow, who, by his characteristic outfit, was identified as a Jair Bolsonaro supporter, caused disruption by trying to vote twice.