Anyway, I am taking time out to survey other countries. First up, Poland, where parliamentary elections are taking place today. Voice of America reports
Opinion polls in the past week showed Tusk's party favored by 31 percent of respondents, and the opposition conservative Law and Justice Party of former Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski with 21 percent.If Tusk's Civic Platform wins it will be the first time in post-Communist Poland that a party has held power beyond one term.
Analysts say no party will win an outright majority, and those predicting a Tusk victory say he will likely be forced to form a ruling coalition similar to the one forged with the Peasants' Party after 2007 polls.
Official results are expected by early Monday.
Pre-election polls also indicated that three other parties would also win parliamentary seats in the election. The new socially and economically liberal Palikot Support Movement, the Democratic Left Alliance and the current coalition partner, the Polish People Party.
The BBC thinks that the contest will be fairly close. Reuters agrees. Much depends on the turn-out. According to Polish Radio News things do not look very good:
The National Election Commission has announced that at 18.00 CET, turnout was 39.6 percent, down on the same time, four years ago. Turnout during the 2007 election was officially 53.8 percent.Polls are about to close, as Poland is one hour ahead of the UK.
UPDATE: Exit polls say that Tusk's party is likely to win though no word yet on the turn-out. Official results expected tomorrow.
A few more updates here. Looks like Civic Platform will be largest party and, probably, the same coalition will be re-negotiated. However, the one to watch is the Palikot Movement that was created last year and has achieved 10 per cent of the vote.
Janusz Palikot, who founded his new party only last year after he left the ruling Civic Platform because he thought they were too socially conservative, was overjoyed at getting 10 percent of the vote, nationwide, according to exit polls.The Catholic Church may well find that these people are more formidable than Tusk's lot.
“This is phenomenal. Eighteen months ago, opinion polls gave the Palikot Movement from one to two percent [in support],” he said tonight.
Palikot has taken votes from socially liberal Civic Platform supporters and the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD), support for which has fallen to 7.7 percent from 13 percent in the last elections four years ago.