( AFP ) - Polish prime minister-in-waiting Donald Tusk visited London on Saturday to thank expatriate voters for their part in propelling him to the premiership.
Tusk held a rally in Ealing, west London, where a long-established Polish community has mushroomed since Poland joined the European Union in May 2004 and Britain opened its labour market to Polish workers.
Wearing a dark suit and a blue tie, Tusk addressed supporters at Ealing Town Hall, standing before the Polish and British flags.
He then was to dine with the Polish ambassador to Britain.
Estimates for the British-based Polish community range from 300,000 in some government studies, to one million, half of whom live in the London area, according to some Polish sources.
Tusk is expected to become prime minister shortly after the first session of the new parliament on Monday.
Tusk travelled to Britain and Ireland at the end of September to drum up support for his Civic Platform (PO) party, as he sought to end two years of rule by the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party.
Britain provided fertile territory for PO in the October 21 vote: figures from Poland's national electoral commission show the party obtained almost 75 percent of the British vote, compared with its overall result of almost 42 percent.
Just over 48,000 British-based Poles signed up to vote at the Polish embassy in London, as well as the country's consulates and a string of community centres from northern Scotland to England's south coast.
Their turnout rate beat that of home-based Poles: around 75 percent of British-registered voters took part compared to almost 54 percent nationally.