Poles vote for the first round of the presidential election on Sunday. Outgoing Andrzej Duda failed to rally during the campaign, against the backdrop of a coronavirus epidemic.

A month and a half later than initially planned, the first round of the presidential election will take place on Sunday June 28 in Poland. As in France for the municipal elections, the polls were postponed due to the coronavirus epidemic. Among the 11 candidates in the running, two are leading the way: the current president Andrzej Duda and in the opposition, the mayor of Warsaw Rafal Trzaskowski.

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Andrzej Duda has long been in the lead. With 60% of voting intentions in April, he could count on his re-election in the first round. Faced with him, a divided opposition, no weighty challenger. But he made a false move: to decide to maintain the election scheduled for May 10, despite the coronavirus epidemic.
His stubbornness creates misunderstanding in the country, including among his majority. If he ends up changing his mind and postponing the election, his victory suddenly becomes less obvious.

It falls below 40% of voting intentions. In other words, its electoral base, explains political scientist Tomasz Pludowski: “This is more or less the usual support for the PiS, the Law and Justice party: between 30 and 40%. These are the voters on whom Duda can count with certainty. But there, he needs 50% to win and the other half of Polish voters, by and large, are against this government. “

Except that at the time of the announcement of the postponement of the poll, there is still no one to gather all these “anti”. On May 15, things changed: against all odds, the charismatic mayor of Warsaw Rafal Trzaskowski announced his candidacy. It was only six weeks ago, recalls the political scientist, and since then the dynamics have been clearly on his side: “This candidate is new, he is young, he is a rather attractive person. He has an aura and there has been a breeze of optimism and hope around him. He is a kind of … well, it’s his supporters who say it, a kind of Kennedy, or Obama, or Macron. Someone like that. This image already gives him some precious points. Of course, there is still a long way to go. “

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It’s like there’s some kind of social movement behind Rafal Trzaskowski, it’s maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but something is going on.Tomasz Pludowski, political scientistat franceinfo

Political scientist Tomasz Pludowski recalls that in this final stretch, Duda, the outgoing nationalist-conservative president and his party the PiS, with the Catholic church as reinforcement, radicalized his campaign, in particular attacking LGBT people. “Gays are not people, he said in particular, but an ideology. “

Duda has also appointed a new director to head public television, which continues to advertise the candidate. It doesn’t change anything in the polls, Duda is stable around 39% and he has no allies for the second round. It is the opposite for Trzaskowski, this new candidate, who federates a little more every day the liberal and pro-European opposition, it is around 28%. With enough votes cast on paper to make the outcome of this election completely uncertain.

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