Polish PM Tusk’s Civic Coalition seen ahead in EU vote-exit poll

By Thomson Reuters Jun 9, 2024 | 2:20 PM

By Barbara Erling

WARSAW (Reuters) – Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s Civic Coalition (KO) was set to win European elections on Sunday, an exit poll showed, taking a step towards establishing itself as the dominant force in the country after a campaign dominated by security concerns.

With war raging in Ukraine and a migrant crisis on the Belarus border, Tusk framed the vote in Poland as a choice between a safe future in a country at the heart of the European Union or a more perilous one if the nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party, known for its conflicts with Brussels, won.

“We have shown that our choices, our efforts, have a much broader dimension than just our national issues … we have shown that we are a beacon of hope for Europe,” he told supporters after the exit poll results were announced.

According to the IPSOS exit poll, KO won 38.2% of votes, ahead of PiS who had 33.9%. KO’s partners in the pro-European coalition government which took power in December, the centre-right Third Way and the Left, got 8.2% and 6.6% respectively. The far-right Confederation party scored 11.9%.

If confirmed, the result would mark the end of a decade-long run of first-place election finishes for PiS.

PiS says Tusk, a former European Council president, is subservient to Poland’s larger neighbour Germany and accuses him of hypocrisy for criticising tough PiS policies towards migrants on the Belarus border while in opposition before implementing similar measures in government.

Final results are likely to be announced on Monday.

(Reporting by Barbara Erling, Alan Charlish, Pawel Florkiewicz, Karol Badohal, Editing by Peter Graff and Alexander Smith)