The current president and government candidate Andrzej Duda leads the forecast just ahead of his challenger Rafal Trzaskowski.
Election crime thriller in Poland: According to forecasts, incumbent Andrzej Duda is just ahead in the runoff election for the presidency. He and his challenger, Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski, were close at 50.8 percent and 49.2 percent, according to a forecast during the night on Monday.
Due to error margins of plus or minus one or two percentage points, it was initially open in what was perhaps the tightest race in Poland’s history who was the winner. There are no projections in Poland. The official results were expected on Monday or Tuesday.
The conservative Duda is supported by the ruling law and justice party (PiS) and is aiming for a second five-year term. Trzaskowski is running for the liberal opposition.
The turnout in the afternoon was 52.1 percent, four percentage points higher than at the same time in the first election round. According to Duda, it was later around 70 percent, which is “a nice testimony to our democracy”.
In the first round, Duda had reached 43.5 percent, Trzaskowski had 30.5 percent. Around 30 million people were entitled to vote on Sunday, the polling stations were supposed to close at 9 p.m., but some remained open due to long lines. Because of the coronavirus, voters had to wear face masks and gloves, keep a distance, and use disinfectants.
Duda was optimistic on election night that the results would confirm his victory. Trzaskowski also continued to believe in an election victory. The forecasts did not represent overseas postal voters, many of whom analysts believe are more supportive of Trzaskowski.
The outcome in Poland is likely to determine the outcome for years to come, at least until the parliamentary election in 2023. If Duda were re-elected, PiS would retain its allies in the presidency and could thus continue to control the most important institutions in the country. Trzaskowski’s victory would give him the power to veto the ruling party’s bills. Poland’s tone in dealing with the EU would also be softer again.
The PiS and Duda are popular because of a social program that has improved the situation of many families and the elderly, especially in the country. They also stand for traditional values.
The PiS has received criticism above all from the European Union for its controversial judicial reforms. Trzaskowski’s polls were particularly high in large cities and among voters with a higher education.