21/06/2010 - Results - 1st round
On 4th July the Poles will have to decide between the two candidates that came out ahead on 20th June during the 1st round of the presidential election: Bronislaw Komorowski (Civic Platform, PO), Marshall (leader) of the Diet, the Lower Chamber in Parliament and present interim Head of State won 41.2% of the vote; Jaroslaw Kaczynski (Law and Justice, PiS), twin brother of the outgoing President Lech Kaczynski who died in the plane crash on 10th April, won 36.7% of the vote.
The leader of the main leftwing party (Democratic Left Alliance, SLD), Grzegorz Napieralski, came third with 13.7% of the vote. "Grzegorz Napieralski's result shows that the electorate on the left is waking up in Poland,
" said political expert Kazimierz Kik.
The former leader of the Political Union and supporter of the monarchy Janusz Korwin-Mikke (Freedom and Rule of Law, WiP), won 2.5%, Waldemar Pawlak (Polish Farmers' Party, PSL), present deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister in the government led by Donald Tusk (PO) 1.8%, Andrzej Olechowski, an independent candidate supported by the Democratic Party (SD) 1.4%, Andrzej Lepper (Self-Defence-Samoobrona, S) 1.3%, and Marek Jurek (Republic Right Party, PR) 1%. Finally two other candidates, Boguslaw Zietek and Kornel Morawiecki, came below the 1% mark (0.2 and 0.1%).
Turnout was higher than in the last presidential election on 9th and 23rd October 2005 and rose to 52% i.e. +2.3 points.
"I am happy and satisfied with the support and the confidence expressed by millions of Polish voters. In life as in football and in all sporting disciplines it is the injury time which is the hardest. We should be aware of this, let's mobilise our forces and all of our energy for this final in the presidential race,
" declared Bronislaw Komorowski.
A priori, the Civic Platform candidate in power has a greater number of votes at his disposal than his adversary in the 2nd round. The Democratic Left Alliance and the Polish Farmers' Party allied to the Civic Platform in office should, like the independent candidate Andrzej Olechowski, call for a vote in support of Bronislaw Komorowski. According to a poll by CBOS at the beginning of June 52% of people who lie to the left of the political scale said they were ready to grant their vote to the PO candidate in the 1st round (only 23% said they would vote for Grzegorz Napieralski) with aim of barring the way to Jaroslaw Kaczynski.
"The key to victory is faith and the belief that it is possible and necessary to win. We have to win for our country, for Poland,
" indicated Jaroslaw Kaczynski. The Law and Justice candidate, who started his campaign late, has however succeeded in reducing the gap that separated him from Bronislaw Komorowski. He campaigned on the theme of solidarity, holding a new discourse with regard to his historic Russian and German enemies (thanking the Russians for their show of sympathy after the death of his twin brother and saying that he was ready to cooperate with Chancellor Angela Merkel) trying to attract voters that are positioned in the centre of the political scale. "Jaroslaw Kaczynski is playing the card of the kind, old grandfather who wants to use national tragedy (the death of the President of the Republic) to overcome the old animosities and united the nation,
" indicated Preston Keat of Eurasia Group.
"The electoral campaign will be calm and silent, without conflict,
" said Lena Kolarska-Bobinska, MEP some days after the accident on 10th April. She was not mistaken. The electoral campaign, which was very calm, was also quite specific. The emotion created by the accidental death of 96 leading Polish personalities was heightened by the floods which ravaged the south east of the country leading to the deaths of more than 20 people and obliging many to abandon their homes. The two main candidates made increasingly frequent visits to the victims, and went to pray alternately on the tomb of Lech Kaczynski in Krakaw; finally both completed their campaigns in Gdansk, the birthplace of the Solidarnosc movement.
"The electoral campaign took place in a most unusual manner for two reasons: it was made obligatory by the presidential plane crash and then it was marked by the floods – a tragedy that really dominated the news from mid-May on,
" said Stanislaw Mocek, a political expert at the Polish Science Academy.
The second round will take place on 4th July just as many Poles are leaving for their holidays, this notably concerns Bronislaw Komorowski's supporters who tend more to go abroad for their break. With this in mind the authorities decided to open polling stations in the Poles' favourite holiday destinations (Egypt, Turkey, Spain). Fearing low turnout may favour the PiS whose electorate is often more motivated Prime Minister Donald Tusk does not hesitate to raise the threat of a further cohabitation with the Head of State. "It is a very important election from a political point of view. More than ever it could be decisive: either we remain set in a terrible conflict or we continue to move forwards,
" he declared as he fulfilled his civic duty in Sopot. "Success for Jaroslaw Kaczynski would mean political hell,
" said the Head of Goverment accusing the PiS candidate's supporters of undertaking a campaign of denigration "to prove that Donald Tusk works not only for the Wehrmacht but also for the Red Army and that Bronislaw Komorowski is the lackey of the major powers led by Russia.
According to the polls Bronislaw Komorowski is due to win the second round. Will two weeks be enough for Jaroslaw Kaczynski to create a surprise?