In Poland's presidential election, incumbent Andrzej Duda won the most votes in the first round, an exit poll showed on Sunday (June 29).
Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowsk, standing for the liberal Civic Platform party (PO), seen by many as Duda's main opposition, got 30.4 percent of the votes, the poll showed. The pro-EU Trzaskowski has vowed to block any new laws that violate constitutional norms.
While Mr Trzaskowski trailed Mr Duda on Sunday, in a runoff he would be likely to gain many votes from the nine other candidates who have been eliminated, including a progressive Catholic independent, Szymon Holownia, who won almost 14pc. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
Both Duda and Trzaskowski, after hearing the results, seemed to indicate that they meant to battle for the votes of the far-right candidate, Bosak.
Voters of the far-right Konfederacja party, whose candidate Krzysztof Bosak received 7% of votes in the first round, could play a decisive role in the second-round outcome, as well as the 14% of the electorate who voted for the independent candidate Szymon Hołownia. The Ipsos poll projected it would be 13.3 percent. Holownia is not affiliated with either party and generated excitement among some Poles exhausted of years of disputes between the Law and Justice and the Civic Platform, the country's two main parties.
Once the exit polls were out, the rivals - both 48 years old - lost no time in wooing those who backed the other nine candidates, as they climbed right into their campaign buses and set off to meet voters.
"In many issues concerning Poland, how Poland should be represented, how Polish interests should be managed, not much has separated us and not much separates us; in many aspects, we are thinking in similar ways", Duda said on Sunday night, referring to Bosak.
In second place was Rafal Trzaskowski, the pro-European Union mayor, with slightly over 30pc. I want to say clearly to all these citizens - I will be your candidate. All other candidates in a field of 11 respondents even lower.
Turnout was high, despite coronavirus and social distancing restrictions, at around 63 per cent, well up on the 49 per cent who voted in Poland's previous presidential election in 2015. He was helped by adulatory coverage in the state media and the inability of other candidates to campaign. The exit poll suggests that Trzaskowski an.
"A country that will also be safe, free of terrorist threats, without all that is often the bane of Western Europe, a country based on tradition, on its tested values", Duda said.
Duda has sought to bolster support for his campaign by attacking same-sex marriage, adoption and gay "ideology".
That kind of rhetoric, along with judicial review and the party's use of public media to promote the government's image, has raised concern among some that Poland is following Hungary in the erosion of democratic norms established after the collapse of communism three decades ago.