Exit polls show Polish voters appear to have thrown out the left-wing government headed by Prime Minister Marek Belka and cast their ballots for two center right parties.  

Polish Radio says voters have "punished the left" government of Prime Minister Belka, for what it describes as "four-year rule marked by constant corruption scandals."  The exit polls conducted for Polish television showed the conservative Law and Justice Party obtaining almost 29 percent of the votes, and the pro-market Civic Platform winning 24.1 percent.

The ruling Democratic Left Alliance, according to the exit polls, was behind with a little over 11 percent.

Although final official results are expected later this week, the Law and Justice Party has already claimed victory and says its candidate, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, will become prime minister.

His party and the Civic Platform are expected to form a government. The two have already agreed to focus on stimulating economic growth and reducing the jobless rate, which, at 18 percent, is the highest in the European Union.

In addition they want to lower taxes, while at the same time trimming the budget deficit to meet terms for adopting the Euro currency.

Poles are divided however over whether the proposed policies of the Law and Justice party and its Civic Platform ally will work.

YOUNG MAN: "I don't like this party. I think it's too conservative. It is not going forward...Its economic program, I don't think it's going to work."

ANOTHER VOTER: "I think its platform is the most liberal in Poland. Because the other parties are too conservative for me."

THIRD VOTER: "I think during the last four years during the left wing rule, the corruption was not good for Poland."

Analysts agree there are many difficulties ahead, but they say the Law and Justice and the Civic Platform parties appear to have a large enough mandate to carry out their policies.
The turnout for the elections was low, with  just over 38 percent of eligible voters bothering to show up at the polls.  That's the lowest turnout since the first post Communist elections in 1991.