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Election Analysis Poland


On October 15, 2023 Poland elected a new parliament. In her analysis for the EU Election Monitor, Dr Maria Skóra paints a picture of a tense election campaign, classifies the election results and highlights the European policy implications.

At the time of the election on 15 October 2023, the United Right coalition has been in government for eight years, led by the Law and Justice Party (PiS), together with the Sovereign Poland Party (SP) and the Republicans. Despite their competitive advantage (misuse of public funds and bias of the public media), their victory was not certain even in the run-up to the elections. Even according to the by-election polls on 15 October 2023, a change of power is quite realistic: three opposition forces could come to a majority in the new Polish parliament (Sejm).
Traditionally, the Polish political scene is polarised and not very consensus-oriented. The rule is "the winner takes it all". Therefore, the stakes were high: a victory by the opposition would lead to a complete U-turn in many policy areas. If the governing coalition won, however, the power of the national conservatives would become even more entrenched. This is why many experts and commentators described this parliamentary election in advance as the most important election in Polish history after 1989.
The high voter turnout (74.38%) shows that the population also recognised the great importance of the elections. Above all, the opposition mobilised women and young people. These are normally underrepresented groups of voters who mostly voted against the governing coalition.

The whole analysis is available here.