With 87% of the votes counted, incumbent Andrzej Duda won the first round of the presidential election with 45.24%, while Centrist Rafał Trzaskowski (PO) came second with 28.92% of the votes. The run-off will take place on Sunday (12 July).
Independent candidate Szymon Hołownia came third with 13.69%, followed by far-right candidate Krzysztof Bosak with 6.79%, according to the exit polls.
Then came conservative Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz (PSL) with 2.46% followed by Robert Biedroń (The Left) with 2.12%.
Voter turnout was 62.9% with the Mazowieckie Voivodeship topping the turnout list with 68.1%. There was also a high turnout in Małopolska (64.8%), Wielkopolska (64.6%), Podkarpacie (63.6%) and Łódź (63.2%).
Following the announcement of the exit poll results, Duda said he had “won this first round in an absolutely decisive manner”, adding that “it is thanks to your votes… that advantage is powerful and I am very grateful for that.”
Duda also congratulated all his competitors.
“In particular, I congratulate Rafał Trzaskowski on his result, which leads him to the second round, to the fact that we are going to fight together,” said Duda, to which his audience started buzzing when they heard Trzaskowski’s name.
“We have different visions with Mr Rafał Trzaskowski. We have different visions with his party, just as we had different visions in 2015”, added Duda.
Trzaskowski’s staff in Warsaw was euphoric after the results had been announced. Trzaskowski said that he and his team “have a chance to win this election”.
“With such results, you can go to fight for Poland!” he said, adding that such a result shows that 55% of society want to see change.
“And I want to make it clear to these citizens – I will be your candidate, I will be the candidate for change!” he added.
Trzaskowski also argued that Poles will have to choose “between truth and manipulation” in the second round set for 12 July.
Neither Szymon Hołownia or Krzysztof Bosak immediately backed either of the candidates in the run-off.
Hołownia has declared that he will not back either candidate, but that was during the campaign. However, his staff tentatively suggested they are open for talks with Trzaskowski.
And while Trzaskowski and Duda had already started the campaign ahead of the run-off on 12 July, some candidates disappointed their voters’ expectations.
Kosiniak-Kamysz, who was seen as Duda’s potential challenger just a few months ago, got only little over 2.5%, while the hope of the united left, Robert Biedron, didn’t cross 3%.
(Łukasz Gadzała, Anna Wolska | EURACTIV.pl)