Delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, on Sunday, 28 June 2020, Poland had its five-yearly presidential election. With turnout higher than in 2015, exit polls suggest incumbent President Andrzej Duda received 41.8% of the vote and his opponent, Rafał Trzaskowski, 30.4%. Andrzej Duda is supported by the governing right-wing Law and Justice party (Prawo i Sprawiedliwości – PiS). Rafał Trzaskowski is the liberal candidate of the Civic Platform party (Platforma Obywatelska – PO) and is currently mayor of Warsaw. He joined the campaign only in May, replacing Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska who withdrew from the presidential election.
Trzaskowski’s short campaign focused on restoring constitutional norms and improving Poland’s relationship with the EU, while also maintaining popular social welfare programs. Duda, criticised for supporting controversial judiciary reforms, curtailing media freedoms and his open hostility towards the LGBT rights movement, focused his campaign on traditional Catholic values and additional financial support for families and senior citizens.
To be elected president a candidate must receive more than 50% of the vote. Most likely, we will see Duda and Trzaskowski in the second round planned for 12 July. It is speculated that high turnout, despite the coronavirus, will make the Duda-Trzaskowski competition quite tight. Turnout in the 2015 election was 48.96% in the first round and 55.34% in the second. The exit poll survey reports that yesterday 62.9% of Poles had cast their vote, which is about 3.5 million more than in 2015. The results of the first round should be announced on Wednesday.