Incumbent Andrzej Duda was marginally ahead in Poland's presidential election on Sunday, an exit poll found, a result, which while still uncertain, could have profound implications for Warsaw's relations with the European Union.
Mr Duda is facing a challenge from Warsaw mayor Rafal Trzaskowski of the opposition Civic Platform (PO) party and the latest polls show an nearly even split between the two. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points.
Mr Wojciech, a 59-year-old builder who declined to give his surname, said he chose Mr Duda because his close ties to Mr Trump meant Poland "can count on the U.S. for defence".
Andrzej Duda, the ruling president of Poland backed by the right-wing Law and Justice party, delivers a speech for locals and supporters during a campaign rally on July 9 in Wieliczka, Poland. Results are due to come in gradually overnight, with the final totals due on Monday morning.
The result will be decisive for the future of Poland's Law and Justice (PiS) party government, which critics accuse of rolling back hard-won democratic freedoms three decades after the fall of communism. He represented the centrist opposition Civic Platform party, which was in power in from 2007 to 2015.
Poland's State Electoral Commission reported that turnout by 5 p.m. (1500 UTC) was 52.1% - more than four points higher than at the same time in the first round of voting on June 28.More news: Toronto, Edmonton to host National Hockey League season
The election was planned for May but health concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic prompted the delay.
In the first round, his advantage over Trzaskowski was much more noticeable and accounted for more than 10 percent.
Trzaskowski's win would give him the power to veto laws passed by the ruling party.
The presidential vote has certainly managed to grab the nation's attention, with people heading to the polling stations in record numbers not seen since 1995.
The analyst also added that floating votes will play a crucial role in the outcome of the presidential elections Sunday.
Duda said the turnout was almost 70%, which would be a record high for a presidential election in the 30 years since Poland threw off communism, embraced democracy and later gained membership in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the EU.More news: Singapore's ruling party seen retaining power, but opponents make gains
Trzaskowski has declared that he would seek to lead a more "tolerant" Poland.
"In the situation when we see constant discord, divisions, the rift in society, let him be a unifying one, the president of all Poles", Polak said after voting in Gniezno.
The ruling party and Duda have won popularity through a welfare program that improved the lives of many impoverished families with children and retirees, especially in rural areas and small towns, and also through their attachment to Poland's traditional Roman Catholic values.
But the party has drawn criticism from European Union leaders for steps allowing it to influence the justice system. He has compared what he calls LGBT "ideology" to Soviet-era communist indoctrination, while state TV, the mouthpiece of the government, has used the sensitive issue of Jewish property restitution to attack Trzaskowski. Sunday's exit polls showed his support strongest among younger people, in larger cities and among more highly educated people.
Poland has had 37,000 confirmed coronavirus infections and 1,600 deaths, but restrictions have been largely eased in recent weeks.
Voters must wear masks and gloves, maintain a safe distance and use hand sanitiser. Election officials had to wear masks and sit wide apart from each other., while ballot boxes were regularly disinfected and the polling stations were well-ventilated.More news: China's SinoVac starts late stage trials for its Covid-19 vaccine