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Poland exit polls: PM Tusk's coalition maintains advantage over PiS in EU elections

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who leads a centrist, pro-EU party, votes in the election for the European Parliament, in Warsaw, Poland, on Sunday, June 9, 2024.
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who leads a centrist, pro-EU party, votes in the election for the European Parliament, in Warsaw, Poland, on Sunday, June 9, 2024. Copyright Czarek Sokolowski/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Czarek Sokolowski/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
By Tamsin Paternoster
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Tusk's political alliance, Civic Coalition, maintained its lead over the right-wing populist Law and Justice or PiS, with the far-right Confederation party entering the European Parliament for the first time.

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Early projections of the European election results in Poland show that Tusk's Civic Coalition is set to keep its lead over its rival Law and Justice or PiS party, mimicking national election results in December.

An Ipsos exit poll published by Polish television channel TVN24 showed that with 38% of the vote, Tusk's political alliance should be able to delegate around 21 MEPs to the new European Parliament.

The right-wing populist PiS came in second place with a predicted result of 33.9%.

The European election vote in Poland has largely been framed as a test for Tusk's party, who have come out on top over the PiS in the elections for the first time in ten years.

After crafting a coalition government following a general election in December, Tusk has aimed to establish himself and his party as a dominant force in Polish politics.

During his campaign, he framed the vote as a choice between safety in the European Union and a risky future outside of it.

Tusk — a former European Council president — has maintained a staunch pro-European stance in stark contrast to his political rival PiS leader Jarosław Kaczyński, who expressed his disapproval of the European Union after casting his vote in Warsaw on Sunday.

Other parties in Tusk's coalition include the centre-right Third Way, which is projected to win 8.2%, and the Left, which is estimated to achieve 6.6%.

The far-right nationalist Confederation party is also predicted to enter the European Parliament for the first time with 11.9% of the vote. The result is a win for the party, who previously failed to reach the 5% electoral threshold in 2019.

A patchwork party comprised of an alliance of several parties further to the right of the PiS, it includes nationalists, libertarians and monarchists with hardline views, including antisemitic and anti-LGBTQ+ stances.

Turnout lower than five years ago

The European election is the third vote in Poland in about eight months. The country has already held parliamentary elections last October and local elections in April.

This year, the turnout in the European elections was 39%, less than in 2019 when it hit 45.7%.

According to Jan Kubik, Director of the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies at University College London, voter turn-out is crucial in the Polish results.

"The lower turnout will mean that people are, as I suspect, more focused on crucial domestic issues. Higher turnout means that people are translating those domestic issues more broadly to the EU," Kubik said.

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