Amazon fires: Bolsonaro’s poll rating plummets as Brazil turns against far-right leader

Outcry and discontent among international leaders over far-right firebrand’s response to Amazon fires shared by Brazilians

Jake Spring
Tuesday 03 September 2019 13:55
Bolsonaro speaks about wildfires in Brazil

Brazilians saying that President Jair Bolsonaro is doing a “bad or terrible” job rose to 38 per cent from 33 per cent previously, following global outcry over the government’s handling of record fires in the Amazon rainforest.

The Datafolha polling institute found that 29 per cent say that Mr Bolsonaro is doing a “great or good” job, down from 33 per cent in July, according to the poll published on Monday.

Brazilians who said Mr Bolsonaro was doing a normal job fell to 30 per cent from 31 per cent previously, within the margin of error.

Datafolha found that 51 per cent of Brazilians thought Mr Bolsonaro had done a bad or terrible job responding to the Amazon fires.

Last month, Brazil’s space research agency INPE revealed that the highest number of forest fires were tearing through the Amazon rainforest since 2010, sparking international outcry demanding that the country do more to protect the world’s largest tropical rainforest.

Mr Bolsonaro authorised the military to fight the fires after several days of public protests and criticism from world leaders.

The far-right firebrand also engaged in a public war of words with French President Emmanuel Macron, who called the fires “ecocide” and for more to be done to combat them as G7 wealthy nations met in France.

Mr Bolsonaro ultimately said that he would only accept an offer of $20 million (£16.6m) in aid if Mr Macron withdrew “insults” against him.

Datafolha found that 66 per cent of Brazilians said that Brazil should be accepting international aide to combat Amazon deforestation.

Mr Bolsonaro won the presidency last year with a commanding lead but has seen his support steadily erode since taking office on 1 January.

The Datafolha institute polled 2,878 people in 175 towns across Brazil on 29 and 30 August. The poll has a 2 per cent margin of error.


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