Poland’s presidential election was supposed to be a cakewalk for popular incumbent Bronisław Komorowski. But instead of coasting to an easy victory, the president finds himself in danger of a stunning defeat in Sunday’s runoff election. Surprising pollsters and his own campaign team, Komorowski lost in the May 10 first round to Andrzej Duda, the candidate of the nationalist Law and Justice party (PiS), who took 33.8 percent of the vote, a percentage point ahead of the incumbent.
The second surprise of the first round was the unexpectedly strong performance of insurgent candidate Paweł Kukiz, a rock musician and social activist who took a fifth of the vote. He tapped into the frustration of people who feel left out by Poland’s undeniable post-communist economic success story. Millions have left for a better life in Western Europe despite the strong (but low-salaried) economy. Many are also exhausted at the domination of Polish politics by the centrist Civic Platform party (PO), which has controlled parliament since 2007.
The threat of eviction from the presidential palace appears to have woken Komorowski. He shook up his campaign team and was aggressive during his first head-to-head debate against Duda on Sunday night. He bounced back in opinion polls, which had given Duda a widening lead but now show almost no difference between the two men.
Full Article: Down to the wire in Polish election – POLITICO.