New Polish Prez to be elected in run-off: Exit poll

Incumbent Polish President Andrzej Duda will face off with his main rival Rafal Trzaskowski, candidate of the opposition Civic Platform (PO) party, in the run-off of the presidential election, according to an exit poll.

According to the Ipsos exit poll on Sunday night, Duda received 41.8 per cent of the vote cast earlier in the day, while Trzaskowski, who’s also the Warsaw Mayor, gained 30.4 per cent, while Szymon Holownia, an independent running as a moderate conservative, garnered 13.3 per cent, reports Xinhua news agency.

Under Polish election rules, as none of the 11 contenders in the race won more than 50 per cent of the vote, the run-off will be held on July 12.

Duda, supported by the conservative Law and Justice party, and Trzaskowski, a Christian democrat, will look to draw voters of the nine other candidates to their side in the run-off.

Despite leading in the first round, Duda will be face a neck-and-neck contest in the run-off due to opposition consolidation.

Holownia already endorsed Trzaskowski for the run-off a week earlier.

Much will also depend on voters of far-right candidate Krzystof Bosak, who gained 7.4 per cent of the vote.

Despite COVID-19 numbers still rising in the country, Sunday’s first round saw a relatively high turnout.

Exit poll indicated 62.9 per cent of voters cast their ballots, up from 49 per cent five years earlier.

“I thank everyone who voted for me, but I also thank everyone who turned out to vote,” Duda said in his speech after the voting.

Trzaskowski, however, criticized Duda and the ruling Law and Justice party.

“These will not be a choice between Andrzej Duda and Rafal Trzaskowski, but a choice between an open Poland and a Poland that, sadly, looks for an enemy and prefers to divide people.”

The presidential race, originally planned for May 10, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown.

To date, Poland has a total of 33,907 COVID-19 infections, with 1,438 deaths.

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