Dilma Rousseff, the anointed successor of outgoing Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, was ahead in the first official results of Sunday's presidential election, dpa reported.
Based on the count of just over 13 per cent of the votes made public almost immediately after the last polling stations closed, the centre-left Rousseff, of Lula's Workers' Party (PT), had close to 42 per cent of the votes to 37 per cent of her closest rival, Jose Serra, of the centre-right Party of Brazilian Social Democracy (PSDB).
Green Party (PV) candidate Marina Silva was getting 19 per cent of the votes, with the remaining six candidates garnering the rest, according to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE).
Rousseff's advantage in the preliminary results was a lot smaller than expected on the basis of opinion polls. Analysts noted however that the first votes counted came from southern Brazil, where Serra is strongest.