The centre-right opposition Civic Platform party (PO) is heading for a landslide victory in the Polish general election, according to early results. Donald Tusk, leader of the PO, said that his party is likely to win 40% of the vote, or 194 seats in parliament.
The outgoing Prime Minister, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, whose Law and Justice Party (PiS) came second, with about 32% of the vote, has already admitted defeat.
Sunday's election was called two years early, after Mr Kaczynski's coalition collapsed over an investigation into corruption. The PiS government courted controversy by pursuing former communists, adopting a sceptical approach to the European Union, and asserting traditional Catholic values. The PO has promised a more business-friendly administration, with closer ties to Europe.
Voting in Sunday's election was extended for three hours in some parts of the country, as officials struggled to cope with the sharply increased turnout of 55%, the highest since the fall of communism in 1989.
If early results are correct, the PO and its preferred coalition partner, the Polish Peasants' Party (PSL), will win a majority in the 460-seat lower house of parliament, the Sejm.
22 October 2007