Exit polls in the Polish General Election suggest Prime Minister Donald Tusk and his Civic Platform are heading for victory.
The centrist has held power since 2007. If re-elected it will be the first time since 1989 that an outgoing Polish administration has been returned to office. Tusk has already said he will renew his current coalition.
“I know that the next four years will be an even greater challenge because we will have to work twice as hard and react twice as quickly, and this is because all Poles have the right to an ever-increasing standard of living,” he said.
From euphoria at Civic Platform headquarters to the sound of deflating balloons at the opposition Law and Justice party. Jaroslaw Kaczyinki will have to wait another four years to have a second crack at Poland’s top job.
“A big part of the Polish people think that what is happening now is good. I respect their decision,” he said.
The surprise has been the sudden capture of 10 percent of the votes by a party that didn’t exist a year ago. Janusz Palikot’s eponymous Movement has surged into parliament on a platform of leftist liberal social and economic policies, support for gay marriage and legalised soft drugs, and opposition to Roman Catholic power and privilege in public life.