Polls close in Brazil as voters decide between Jair Bolsonaro and Lula da Silva

Brazilians have voted in a presidential run-off election that pits an incumbent vowing to safeguard conservative Christian values against a former president promising to return the country to a more prosperous past.

The run-off is between President Jair Bolsonaro and former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva - both are well-known, divisive political figures.

The results are expected around midnight UK time.

The vote will determine if the world's fourth-largest democracy stays on the same course of far-right politics or returns a leftist to the top job.

More than 120 million Brazilians were expected to cast ballots, but because the vote is conducted electronically, the final result is usually available within hours after voting stations close.

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Most opinion polls gave a lead to Mr da Silva, universally known as Lula, though political analysts agreed the race grew increasingly tight in recent weeks.

For months, it appeared that da Silva was heading for an easy victory.

But in the 2 October first-round elections, Mr da Silva finished first among the 11 candidates with 48% of the votes, while Mr Bolsonaro was second at 43%.

The candidates presented few proposals for the country's future beyond affirming they will continue a big welfare programme for the poor.

They railed against one another and launched online smear campaigns - with considerably more attacks coming from Bolsonaro's camp.

He has claimed without any evidence that Mr da Silva's return to power would usher in communism, legalised drugs, abortion and the persecution of churches.

However, Mr Da Silva homed in on Bolsonaro's widely criticised handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and said the president failed to care for society's neediest members.

There are also fears Mr Bolsonaro could challenge the election results should he lose - much like former US President Donald Trump.

For months, he claimed that the nation's electronic voting machines are prone to fraud, though he never presented evidence.