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Poland - Presidential Election

Outgoing President Andrzej Duda is re-elected by a hair's breadth to lead Poland

Outgoing President Andrzej Duda is re-elected by a hair's breadth to lead Poland

13/07/2020 - Results

Outgoing President Andrzej Duda (Law and Justice, PiS) won the second round of the presidential election in Poland on July 12 by a narrow margin. He received 51.22% of the votes and thus edged out Rafal Trzaskowski, current mayor of Warsaw and former Minister of Administration and Digital Affairs (2013-2014), candidate of the Civic Platform (PO) led by Grzegorz Schetyna, who obtained 48.78% of the votes. Less than 500,000 votes (out of a total of more than 20 million) separated the two men. Never before has a presidential election been so close in Poland.[1]
Given this result, many expect to face numerous challenges before the Electoral Commission.
Andrzej Duda won in the seven eastern provinces of Poland while Rafal Trzaskowski won the nine western provinces. Similarly, voters over 50 years of age voted overwhelmingly in favour of the incumbent president whilst younger voters preferred Rafal Trzaskowski.

Andrzej Duda came out ahead in the first round of the presidential election on 28 June with 43.5% of the vote and 30.46% in favour of Rafal Trzaskowski.

The presidential election led to a strong turnout by the Poles, totalling 68.9% in the second round, 24.27 points higher than in the previous ballot on May 24, 2015.

Results of the presidential elections of June 28 and July 12, 2020 in Poland
Turnout: 64.51% (1st round) and 68.90% (2nd round)

Source :

"Winning the presidential election, while almost 70% of Poles went to the polls is fantastic. I want to thank all my compatriots (...) I want to continue on the path that I followed in my first term. I will engage in dialogue with my fellow countrymen as I have always done," said the outgoing head of State after the results were announced.

Andrzej Duda is the first President of the Republic to have visited each of Poland's 380 electoral districts during his term of office. The outgoing head of State likes to show his interest and esteem for "ordinary Poles" living in small towns and rural areas of the country. The latter, who sometimes feel that they are regarded as second-class citizens, appreciate his attitude towards them.

During the election campaign, he consistently positioned himself as a man "concerned about the traditional family and the interests of the nation" and proposed amending the Constitution to include a ban on same-sex couples adopting a child.

Andrzej Duda is 48 years old and a native of Krakow. He graduated from the Faculty of Law and Administration of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. A legal advisor, he was Deputy Minister of Justice in the government led by Jaroslaw Kaczynski (PiS) between 2006 and 2007. A close collaborator of President Lech Kaczynski (PiS), who was killed in a plane crash on April 10, 2010, he acted as spokesman for the PiS for several months between November 2013 and January 2014. Andrzej Duda joined the Sejm on October 9, 2011 and was elected MEP during the European elections on May 25, 2014.

Chosen by Jaroslaw Kaczynski to be the PiS candidate in the presidential elections of May 10 and 24, 2015, although he was virtually unknown to the general public, he won by a narrow margin (518,000 votes) with 51.55% of the votes ahead of the outgoing head of state Bronislaw Komorowski (PO) (48.45%).

Duda, who was re-elected president on July 12, will begin his second term on August 6.

Rafal Trzaskowski was unexpectedly nominated for the presidential election on May 16 and replaced parliamentary deputy speaker Malgorzata Kidawa-Blonska, who had fallen below the 5% voting intention mark in opinion polls after it was announced that the election, initially scheduled for May10 and 24, had been postponed because of the coronavirus epidemic.
In a very short period of time, he managed to position himself as an alternative force, but finally failed to win the second round. It was a difficult gamble: Rafal Trzaskowski trailed 13 points behind his opponent, and he had to mobilise a wide range of voters among those opposed to Andrzej Duda if he was to win on July 12.

"Even though he was defeated, Rafal Trzaskowski gave a good performance that looks like the beginning of something, which provides a new dynamic to the opposition," said Andrzej Rychard, professor of sociology at the University of Warsaw. "For the first time since 2015, we are not debating the extent of the PiS victory but we are questioning the probability of the PIS's defeat," stressed Rafal Chwedoruk, professor of Political Science at the Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce. "Andrzej Duda achieved a small victory. He won the election, but the real success goes to Rafal Trzaskowski and the opposition who are regaining ground," he added.

"Regardless of the result, we won because we gave people hope. We had the whole State apparatus, its manipulations and propaganda against us. We have civil society on our side... This is only the beginning! "said Rafal Trzaskowski, rejoicing.

Following the presidential election, Poland appears more divided than ever before, between a very religious, conservative party and a liberal, pro-European one. "It is a Poland divided in two that is coming out of these elections and it will be difficult to calm the situation and renew the links between the two camps," said Kazimierz Kik, professor of social sciences at the Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce.

The PiS will therefore retain the Presidency of the Republic of Poland. Since the last parliamentary elections were won by the PIS under a year ago (on October 13, 2019), the latter can now govern the country practically unchallenged until the end of 2023.

"If Andrzej Duda wins, we shall see a further erosion of democracy in Poland," said Mikolaj Czesnik of Warsaw's SWPS University ahead of the presidential election.
[1] 518,000 votes also separated Andrzej Duda from Bronislaw Komorowski (PO) in the second round of the last presidential election in 2015 but the total number of voters was smaller (16.7 million).
Publishing Director: Pascale JOANNIN
The author
Corinne Deloy
Author of the European Elections Monitor (EEM) for the Robert Schuman Foundation and project manager at the Institute for Political Studies (Sciences Po).