A liberal contender could narrowly defeat Poland’s right-wing incumbent president in a knife-edge election on Sunday, according to two final polls on Friday.
But a third survey handed President Andrzej Duda a 53-47 victory over Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski and most analysts insist that the race is too close to call, with voter mobilization seen as a decisive factor.
Backed by the main Civic Platform (PO) opposition party, Trzaskowski has gained traction with voters worried that a Duda win would help the Law and Justice (PiS) party government to push ahead with judicial reforms that have alienated Poland within the EU.
Duda supporters meanwhile believe he offers a better guarantee for a raft of popular PiS social benefits that propelled the party to win a second term last year.
Originally scheduled for May 10, the election was postponed by over a month due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Support for Trzaskowski tallied at 46.4 percent compared to 45.9 percent for Duda in a July 8-9 survey by the independent Kantar pollsters for the commercial TVN24 news channel. But 7.7 percent of the 1,500 respondents said they were undecided.
An IBRIS poll conducted July 8 showed 45.3 percent support for Trzaskowski and 44.4 percent for Duda, with 10.3 percent of the 1,100 respondents declaring they had not yet made a final choice.
A CATI Ipsos poll taken July 7-8 handed Duda a 53-47 victory, with only three percent of the 1,014 respondents saying they were undecided.
The election comes within the broader context of long-standing EU concerns about democratic standards in Poland.
The European Commission has launched four infringement procedures against PiS-authored judicial reforms, which it says test democracy and the rule of law by undermining judicial independence.