Polish presidential vote headed for runoff

Polish presidential vote headed for runoff

Poland’s conservative president, Andrzej Duda, was the frontrunner in Sunday’s election, but fell short of the 50% of votes needed to win in the first round, according to the projection of an exit poll.

The results, if confirmed, pave the way for what is building into a very tight race in July 12 runoff that will most likely pit the populist incumbent against the centrist Warsaw mayor, Rafal Trzaskowski, who was in second place.

Since the Polish president has the power to veto laws, Duda winning a second term is crucial to the party as it seeks to continue to reshape the nation’s laws in line with its conservative worldview. The pro-EU Trzaskowski has vowed to block any new laws that violate constitutional norms.

According to the projection by the Ipsos polling firm, Duda won 41.8% and Trzaskowski 30.4% in Sunday’s vote. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2%, The AP reported.

Poland’s state electoral commission has said it would release the final official results by Wednesday evening.

The candidate with the third most votes according to the exit poll was Szymon Holownia, a TV personality and journalist who had once studied to be a priest. He was projected by the Ipsos poll to have 13.3%. Holownia is unaffiliated with any party and generated enthusiasm among some Poles tired of years of bickering between Law and Justice and Civic Platform, the country’s two main parties.

A far-right nationalist candidate, Krzysztof Bosak, was projected by the exit poll to win 7.4% of the vote, and his voters would also be up for grabs in the runoff.

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