Great Britain

Eurosceptic secures Polish presidential election victory – and it's bad news for Brussels

Mr Duda, an ally of the country’s ruling nationalist government, is expected to help the Law and Justice party continue its controversial judicial reforms, which have been heavily criticised by the European Union. With almost all of the ballots counted, the winner had secured 51.2 percent of all votes while his liberal challenger, Rafal Trzaskowski, the mayor of Warsaw, trailed with 48.8 percent. Turnout for the second round of the vote was 68.1 percent, the second-highest highest of any presidential ballot since the beginning of free elections in post-communist Poland in 1989.

Both men declared victory when the exit poll was released as the ballot closed on Sunday evening.

Law and Justice’s deputy prime minister, Jadwiga Emilewicz, questioned the exit poll, claiming voters were ashamed of voting for right-wing parties.

She said: “People are ashamed of voting for the right, which means that exit polls underestimate support, because people are afraid of being excluded from their social circles by admitting their vote.”

Mr Duda was accused of fighting a divisive campaign in which he vowed to support “family values” at the expense of LGBT rights and frequently used homophobic language.

Poland election Andrzej Duda

Re-election for Andrzej Duda as Polish president will cause EU sleepless nights (Image: GETTY)

Andrzej Duda

Andrzej Duda celebrates lead after exit poll released (Image: GETTY)

His nationalist approach also saw him launch attacks on Jews, Germans and the EU.

During his campaign, he called the promotion of LGBT rights an “ideology” more destructive than communism.

Having secured a five-year term, Mr Duda is expected to support the government’s efforts to seize tighter political control over Poland’s courts.

Mateusz Morawiecki

Mr Duda is an ally of Brussels-bashing prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki (Image: GETTY)

Law and Justice’s overhaul of the judiciary has prompted huge tensions between Warsaw and the European Commission in Brussels.

The bloc has accused Poland of damaging democratic values and institutions.

The victory cements Law and Justice’s power base until at least 2023, when the next parliamentary elections are due to be held.

MUST READ: Von der Leyen's €1.76trillion EU spending plot could be ruined

Ursula von der Leyen

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (Image: EbS)

Mr Duda, a 48-year-old devout Catholic, is only the second Polish president to win re-election.

His rival Mr Trzaskowski, a pro-EU politician, had vowed to rebuild the strained relationship between Warsaw and Brussels.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage hailed the victory as a success for anti-Brussels movements.

Brussels fighting 'for its life' as Brexit talks risk shattering bloc [REPORT]
EU economic crisis: Massive 'wake up' call stuns leaders [FORECAST]
Varoufakis calls for release of EU secrets amid cover-up accusations [INSIGHT]

He said: “Good to see a eurosceptic win in Poland.”

Seb Dance, a former Labour Party MEP, said: “A sad day for Poland and for Europe – but even worse for LGBT+ people in Poland who have been the victims of a disgusting scapegoating campaign by Duda.

“Tough times ahead. LGBT+ Poles need solidarity and love going forward. And a tougher response from EU institutions.”

Arch-federalist MEP Guy Verhofstadt said: “Important that President Duda drops his divisive and populist attacks on minorities to unite the Polish people.

“This means listening to young Poles, who voted massively for a future at the heart of a strong Europe.”

Football news:

Lautaro Martinez: we will Continue to do everything possible for Inter
Albert Ferrer: Barca need to become independent of Messi. Others should play more
Conte on rumors about Juve: I will sue whoever wrote this, as well as the editor-in-chief of this newspaper
Aubameyang on the failure of the FA Cup: That's how we do it
Manchester City remain Interested in Coulibaly and Pau Torres, despite ake's transfer from Bournemouth
Up to 10 players will leave Chelsea this summer. Among them are Kante, Kepa and Marcos Alonso
Sancho has agreed a 5-year contract with Manchester United. The clubs are at an advanced stage of negotiations