Romania's incumbent President Klaus Iohannis will face Social Democratic Party (PSD) leader Viorica Dancila in the second round of presidential elections, exit polls by CURS-Avangarde polling institutes for the first round of vote today show.
The exit poll, as presented by Digi 24 news channel, said Iohannis scored 39%, Dancila - 22.5%, while a third contender, Dan Barna of the Save Romania Union (USR), scored 16.4%.
A second exit poll, by polling institute IRES and presented by B1 news channel, showed Iohannis first with 38.7% of the vote, Dancila second with 22% and Barna third with 16.1%.
Polls are based on earlier data and voting in the diaspora is yet to conclude.
Barna had hoped to fare better than Dancila. Had he received more votes, it would have been the first time the PSD failed to had a candidate in the second round of presidential elections in post-communist Romania.
Throughout the voting day, supporters and key representatives of USR have suggested a tight race between Dancila and Barna. Who would be second and face Iohannis, the undisputed favorite, in the next round of elections due in two weeks time had been the key focus of the electoral campaign.
Total turnout by closing polls at 9 p.m. stood at 47.66% (some 8.6 million Romanians), less than in the presidential elections five years ago, when 52.31% of Romanians cast their vote. Turnout among Romanians abroad reported an absolute record, however, as more voters showed up at polling stations across the world than in the second round of presidential elections in 2014.
Some 659,545 Romanians were reported having voted in the Diaspora, with most of them - 128.472 - in Italy.
CURS-Avangarde exit poll results, via Digi24 news channel:
- Klaus Iohannis 39.0 %
- Viorica Dancila 22.5%
- Dan Barna 16.4%
- Mircea Diaconu 7.9%
- Theodor Paleologu 6.1%
- Kelemen Hunor 3.9%
- Viorel Catarama 0.3%
- Bogdan Stanoevici 0.2%
- Cătălin Ivan 0.2%
- Ramona Ioana Bruynseels 1.9%
- John Ion Banu 0.1%
- Sebastian Popescu 0.1%
- Alexandru Cumpanasu 1.2%
- Ninel Peia 0.2%