Dilma Rousseff, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's chosen successor, for the first time on Wednesday come out ahead of her conservative rival in a voter survey for the October presidential elections.
Rousseff, 62, was given 40 percent of voters' intentions over her main rival, Sao Paulo Governor Jose Serra, 68, who was given 35 percent in the Ibope poll -- a six-point swing for Lula's candidate swing over a survey in March.
Virtually unknown to the electorate before her introduction to voters by Brazil's current leader, Rousseff got only 26 percent of likely votes in a December poll, compared to 40 percent for Serra.
The Ibope poll was conducted between June 19 and 21, surveying 2,000 people.
Rousseff was meanwhile Wednesday beginning a European trip with a visit to France to see President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Rousseff, a former guerrilla who was imprisoned during Brazil's 1964-1985 military regime, as well as an economist, has long been known as Lula's righthand woman for her time spent as his chief government minister.
In March she stepped down from that post in order to wage her campaign for the presidency, benefiting from Lula's huge popularity to steadily climb in the polls.
Lula himself will step down at the end of the year after serving the maximum two consecutive terms permitted under Brazil's constitution.