Solidarity's lead in early exit polls appeared insurmountable as the once-splintered bloc looked to edge the governing ex-communists in parliamentary elections Sunday.

The former trade union took an unexpectedly wide lead, with exit polls for Polish television showing it had 32 percent of the vote, ahead of the governing Democratic Left Alliance - with 27 percent. Another poll, for the newspaper Rzeczpospolita gave Solidarity 34 percent and the Democratic Left 27 percent.Although Solidarity did not appear headed to a clear majority in the 460-seat Sejm, the margin would give it the first chance to form a coalition government and return to power four years after being ousted by the ex-communists.

Final results were not expected until Wednesday. But word of the exit poll results, after balloting ended in the late evening, sparked a riotous celebration at Solidarity headquarters in Warsaw.