British press reports on Poland's presidential election

British media devoted a lot of attention to the second round of presidential elections in Poland, which resulted in the victory of incumbent President Andrzej Duda, who represents the right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party.

The British daily "Financial Times" observed that the president began the campaign by touting big infrastructure projects planned by PIS and positioning himself as a guarantor of the party's generous welfare programmes, which have significantly improved the lives of many poorer families.

"But as the race narrowed, he increasingly sought to mobilise support by portraying himself as a bulwark against foreign threats to Poland’s traditional Catholic values," the newspaper wrote.

The daily, commenting on the campaign, wrote that Duda's centrist challenger, Rafal Trzaskowski, sought to parry Duda's attacks by largely avoiding the topic of LGBT rights, and promising not to abandon Law and Justice’s welfare programmes.

According to the Financial Times, Trzaskowski also pledged to repair Poland's frayed relations with the EU, and attacked Duda for failing to stand up to Law and Justice.

British national daily The Times, not yet aware of the outcome, wrote about a very even fight and added that Duda's candidacy was treated as a referendum on the government's populist agenda and as an indicator of the strength of social conservatism in Europe.