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UPDATE: Crowds of Poles voting from abroad on election day

15.10.2023 16:00
Poles based abroad were casting their ballots for their home country’s parliamentary election on Sunday, with a record turnout expected in Britain, and huge numbers also voting in Germany, Belgium and Portugal, among other countries.
Photo:PAP/Leszek Szymański

In the UK, a record 160,772 Polish citizens registered to vote in one of the 77 polling stations available, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

This was almost 63,000 people more than in the 2019 parliamentary elections, officials said. 

Among the 77 polling stations, 51 are based in England, including 19 in London, 10 in Scotland, four in Northern Ireland, and two in Wales, the PAP news agency reported.

The biggest number of Poles, 3,517, have registered to vote in Ilford, northeast London, while almost 3,300 Polish citizens were set to cast their ballots in Nottingham, and over 3,200 in Peterborough, public broadcaster Polish Radio’ IAR news agency reported.

Germany: ‘enormous interest’ in elections

Meanwhile, there was an “enormous interest” in the elections among Poles based in Germany, the Polish embassy in Berlin said on social media.

More than 108,000 Polish citizens had registered to vote via an online form, with more registering via traditional mail or expected to produce voter certificates from their hometowns in Poland, the PAP state news agency reported.

A total of 47 polling stations have been set up in Germany, including in Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt, Nuremberg and Hanover, according to officials. 

They were set to be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., the PAP news agency reported.

Crowds of voters in Belgium, Portugal

In Belgium, more than 20,600 Poles had registered to cast their ballots in the Polish parliamentary election, twice as many as four years earlier, the IAR news agency reported.

They were set to vote in 11 polling stations, including seven in Brussels, according to officials.  

Meanwhile, a total of 3,900 Poles registered to vote from Portugal, the PAP news agency reported.

Due to the expected turnout, officials had to set up three polling stations, "rather than two as in 2019," a spokesperson for the Polish embassy in Lisbon said.

Poles were able to vote in the Portuguese capital, as well as in Porto and in Linda-a-Velha near Lisbon, the PAP news agency reported.

No voting in Ukraine

In war-torn Ukraine, voting could not be held for the Polish parliamentary elections because of Russia's ongoing invasion, the Polish ambassador in Kyiv Bartosz Cichocki told PAP.

Many Poles living or working in Ukraine have travelled back to the home country to cast their votes on Sunday, the PAP news agency reported.

The Polish parliamentary election was being held together with a referendum on issues including migration and the retirement age.


Source: IAR, PAP, National Electoral Commission PKW