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A queue of Brazilians preparing to vote for president in the British capital this Sunday (2) has turned three corners before midday. The Brazilian consulate in London said the movement had been increasing since the morning and the turnout was expected to be higher than in previous elections.
Vivian Oswald is RFI’s correspondent in London
With the second largest immigrant community in Europe, the UK has the largest number of candidates to take part in presidential elections. Around 35,000 Brazilians living in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are expected to visit the Brazilian consulate this Sunday. This is an increase of almost 35% compared to the baseline of the last election in 2018. Out of the 26 thousand registered in the last election, just over 10 thousand went to vote.
Despite the movement, everything goes according to plan. A few voters who raised slogans were searched, but nothing serious so far. Many carry the Brazilian flag or parts with its colors.
Others wear red, photos and pins of parties and candidates, which is allowed. But protests inside schools where polling takes place must be peaceful. Unrest is not tolerated and some voters outside wave flags and make noise.
In a corner not far from the school entrance, a group of supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro are looking for voters from other parties to galvanize with slogans.
Embassy strengthens the voting body
Voting takes place exclusively at this school in Hammersmith. Points are distributed at 44 polling stations which are indicated outside to avoid confusion. There are 44 caskets, of which 40 are electronic and four are canvas. The latter will survive faulty electronic voting machines.
To ensure security at the site, the embassy has reinforced staff present at the school, but the Metropolitan Police has also been alerted and the city’s transport system has been alerted. Brazilians traveling across the country to vote are expected to disrupt subway and bus systems near polling stations. There is a lot of traffic around the school, either by public transport system or by car.
In the 2018 election, approximately 26,000 Brazilians were registered to vote. At that time, despite the large number of subscribers, 9,715 people went to vote. In 2014, there were 14 thousand people. In the last election, Bolsonaro won 51.29% of the vote with 4,797 of the 9,353 valid votes in the first round at the polls in London. In the second round, the incumbent received 61.38% of the valid votes cast.
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