Brazilian general election, 2010

Brazilian general election, 2010

The first round of the Brazilian general election of 2010 was held on Sunday, October 3, 2010.[1] The Presidency of the Republic, all 513 Chamber of Deputies seats and 54 out of 81 Federal Senate seats were contested in this election, along with governorships and state legislatures of all 26 states and the Federal District.[1] On October 31, a run-off was held for president and eight state governorships that did not reach 50% plus one of the valid votes cast in the first round.


On October 3, 2010, Brazilian citizens eligible to vote were required by law to choose a successor to President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, of the Workers' Party, as President Lula's second, four-year term in office was coming to an end and he was constitutionally prohibited from running for a third, consecutive term. 2010 marked the first time since the first election after the redemocratization in which he did not run for President.[2]

As no candidate received absolute majority of the valid cast votes in the first round, a second round, run-off was required to be held on October 31, at which time Lula's designated successor, Workers' Party candidate Dilma Rousseff, defeated the candidate of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, José Serra, 56% to 44%. Rousseff therefore became Brazil's first female president.


All 26 Brazilian states and the Federal District governors were up for election. If none of the candidates received a majority of valid votes in the first round, a run-off was held on October 31, 2010. According to the Constitution, governors are elected directly to a four-year term, with a limit of two terms. Aécio Neves (Minas Gerais), Alcides Rodrigues (Goiás), Blairo Maggi (Mato Grosso), Eduardo Braga (Amazonas), Ivo Cassol (Rondônia), Luiz Henrique da Silveira (Santa Catarina), Marcelo Miranda (Tocantins), Paulo Hartung (Espírito Santo), Roberto Requião (Paraná), Waldez Góes (Amapá), Wilma de Faria (Rio Grande do Norte) and Wellington Dias (Piauí) were all elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2006 and thus were not allowed to run again. After his involvement in an ongoing corruption scandal in late 2009, Federal District Governor José Roberto Arruda left the Democrats party (and was later arrested), also becoming ineligible since it is required for citizens seeking to run for any public office in the country to be a registered party member for at least a year before the predicted election date.[3]

National Congress

Fifty-four of the 81 seats in the Federal Senate, the upper house, were up for election. According to the Constitution, senators are elected directly to an eight-year term, and there is no limit on the number of terms. Alternately, one third and two thirds of the seats are up for election every four years. In 2006, one third of the seats were up for election and thus in 2010 there were two thirds, corresponding to two senators for each one of the 26 Brazilian states, plus two senators for the Federal District.

All 513 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house, were up for election. According to the Constitution, federal deputies are elected directly to a four-year term, and there is no limit on the number of terms.

As a result of the parliamentary election, the Lulista coalition took control of the majority of seats in both houses.

Political groups in the National Congress
after the 2010 election
Chamber of Deputies
Lulista bloc:
Centre-Right bloc: 
Lulista bloc:
Centre-Right bloc: 

State Assemblies

All seats in the State Assemblies will be up for election. According to the Constitution, State Assemblies are unicameral, and its members, who are designated as state deputies, are elected directly to a four-year term, with no limit on the number of terms.


A Brazilian court banned all political spoofs in the runup to the elections.[4] This was condemnation where protestors sought to have a petition signed to undo the ban.[5] On September 2, 2010, the Supreme Federal Court overturned the decision.[6]