Friday, May 15, 2015

Another Polling Surprise – Poland

The president of Poland was expected to win re-election without a runoff, but instead, he came in second behind a conservative challenger and former member of his own center-right party. President Bronislaw Komorowski won 32.2 percent of the vote against further right candidate, Andrzej Duda.

The runoff election is in two weeks.

Polls had shown the President in the lead and likely to win outright with a majority of the vote. And, although his numbers had slipped the last month, he remained ahead. May polls showed Duda with an average of 27 percent support and in second place by an average of 9 points behind Komorowski, whose polling support averaged 38 percent during May.

Duda, a relatively unknown European Parliament member, represents the Law and Justice Party, the country’s more anti-EU, anti-German party and critical of Russia. Komorowski, a well-respected communist dissident, represents the Civic Platform Party, which has been in power eight years.

In spite of a fast growing economy, a substantial protest vote emerged, even beyond the Duda vote. A former rock musician ran an anti-establishment campaign advocating changing the voting system from party-controlled to candidate centered.

Left wing parties failed to register with voters.

Turnout was exceptionally low, less than half the electorate (48.8%).

See Wall Street Journal: Opposition candidate Andrzej Duda wins first round of Poland presidential elections

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