Poland headed to second round after Sunday's vote

  • Poland headed to second round after Sunday's vote

Poland headed to second round after Sunday's vote

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An exit poll shows Polish President Andrzej Duda with the most votes in the country's presidential election.

Trzaskowski, who has promised to heal rifts with the European Union, is set to come second with 30.4 percent, but could receive endorsements from other opposition candidates ahead of the July 12 second round of voting.

Almost complete results from Sunday's balloting show that Mr Duda, who is backed by the populist ruling Law and Justice party, won almost 44% of the votes.

But the policies Duda and the PiS have pushed through - particularly highly controversial judicial reforms - have angered Brussels. Duda, commenting the initial exit figures in Lowicz, central Poland, said his victory was "absolutely decisive".

The president has the power to veto legislation, so Mr Duda's re-election would be of benefit to PiS, of which he used to be a member.

"Despite the criticism, despite having to take hard decisions, I have received more votes than I did five years ago", said Mr Duda shortly after polls closed.

"I voted for Trzaskowski of course! Why?"

Mr. Duda got 41.8% of the votes, the exit poll showed, while Mr. Trzaskowski came second with 30.4%. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Poland's electoral commission said, however, it expected record turnout.

He was projected by the Ipsos poll to have 13.3%. Mr Holownia is unaffiliated with any party and generated enthusiasm among some Poles exhausted of years of bickering between Law and Justice and Civic Platform, the country's two main parties.

"The ultimate result will depend on whether Trzaskowski can indeed secure the support and an equally strong mobilisation (like the one we have witnessed today) among voters of the other opposition candidates".

Opinion surveys conducted last week indicated that Duda could have a more hard time in a runoff.

"We have many common values with Krzysztof Bosak", Mr Duda told Polish public radio.

"I am directing my words to all those who want change", Trzaskowski, the liberal mayor of Warsaw, told supporters in the city of Plock.

"I want to say clearly to all these citizens - I will be your candidate".

'Personally I only see Duda as president, ' said Guzik, 52, an employee at the PGNIG state gas company.

A left-wing politician who was Poland's first openly gay presidential candidate, Robert Biedron, was expected to win 2.9 percent, while an agrarian candidate, Wladyslaw Kosiak-Kamysz, had 2.6 percent in the poll. output. All other candidates in a field of 11 respondents even lower.

Originally scheduled for May, the ballot was postponed due to the pandemic and a new hybrid system of postal and conventional voting was in place on Sunday in a bid to stop the election from causing a spike in infections.

Whether or not Mr Duda wins will determine whether Law and Justice keeps its near-monopoly on power.

Pitching for the middle ground in strongly Catholic Poland, and trying to shake off claims by pro-government media that he is an "extremist candidate", Trzaskowski has sidestepped the LGBTQ+ rights issue for most of the campaign.