Sunday, 24 May 2015

The run-off

The first round of the presidential election, bringing the unexpected victory of Mr Duda, was a rude awakening to Mr Komorowski and his supporters. The properly interpreted wake-up call, or yellow card from voters, somehow has perked up the incumbent president and has not taken wind out of Mr Duda’s sails.

The pace and lustre of the campaign also went up in the fortnight preceding the run-off. Two debates between the candidates were held. I finally returned to earth and watched both. My private impression is that in the first one, hosted by TVP and Polsat, Mr Duda outperformed Mr Komorowski and made a much better impression on the audience, while in the second, hosted by TVN24 (truth be told, biased towards Mr Komorowski), Mr Komorowski proved his superiority over Mr Duda and properly used the chance to underline where differences between him and Mr Duda lie, while the PiS candidate tried to shun answers to most difficult questions.

The last polls, published on Friday (before the silence came) pointed the candidates were running neck in neck (both could boast about support of more than 45% and less than 10% of voters were still hesitating who to vote for. On Thursday evening, right after the second TV debate, I posted on my facebook profile my own forecast of election results, foreseeing Mr Komorowski would win by garnering 51.17% of valid votes, while Mr Duda would get 48.83% of votes… Seems my guess was not that far from the actual results, only candidates' surnames have to be swapped.

The extended (due to a decease in one of the polling stations in Silesian region) silence brings back memories of October 2007, but then some polling stations in Warsaw ran out of ballot papers. Then we had to wait until after midnight to find out the results.

Today’s exit polls result quite clearly point at Mr Duda's victory (53%). The election office (PKW) declares the final result tomorrow before midnight at the latest.

Mr Komorowski worked hard to lose the election, Mr Duda worked even harder to fool Poles, yet crowds of voters (I am hereby taking pride in high turnout of approximately 56%) proved the efforts of both candidates have not been squandered. I turned my back on Mr Komorowski in the first round, but today I backed him. Many people have done so, yet not enough to tip the scales in his favour.

The will of the nation must not be disputed. If official results confirm Mr Duda is a winner, I wish him all the best after taking the office and hope he does not keep the costly promises he has made during the campaign.

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