Polls in August show that Poland’s political scene is stabilizing to a point where the opposition Law and Justice (PiS) party leads and is capitalizing on the unpopularity of the current government, led by Civic Platform (PO), which remains in second place. Third on the list is leftist party the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD), which has strengthened its position since faring poorly in 2011 parliamentary elections.
Prime Minister Donald Tusk (left) and SLD leader Leszek Miller (right)
Courtesy of KPRM and SLD
At the begining of August a Homo Homini poll showed PiS had 34 percent support while PO received 26 percent support. Compared to the pollster’s July survey, PiS had gained 3 percentage points while PO had improved its result by one. Meanwhile, a TNS Polska poll showed PiS with 29 percent support and PO with 25 percent. Both parties lost one percentage point in support over the previous survey.
Only one August poll, carried out by CBOS, showed PO ahead. The ruling party had 25 percent support while PiS was nipping at its heels with 24 percent.
But while the battle for dominance between PO and PiS continues, the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) has taken firm hold of third place. The party polled in the double digits in two out of the three August surveys and had a clear-cut lead on the current junior coalition partner, the rural-based Polish People’s Party (PSL), as well as on the anti-clerical Palikot’s Movement party in all three opinion polls.
A right-left coalition?
The ruling party’s recent weak polling has sparked speculation as to possible coalition scenarios after the scheduled 2015 parliamentary elections. If PO and PSL are unable to obtain enough votes to win a parliamentary majority together, Prime Minister Donald Tusk may have no other choice than to invite SLD to form a three-party coalition or, if the parliamentary arithmetic allows for it, he could form a simple coalition of his party with SLD.
The prime minister addresed the issue in a June 2013 interview with weekly newsmagazine Polityka. “When suggestions emerge that some MPs may leave PO, the natural question that arises is what then, how will you build a majority? Palikot’s Movement is on the margins of politics, Law and Justice is obviously out of the question,” said Mr Tusk.
“The only party I see on the horizon as a potential partner is SLD.”
And so, if the coalition parties’ fortunes do not change before 2015, Mr Tusk, who emerged from the ranks of the 1980s democratic opposition to communism, may find he will have to partner with SLD, the direct offshoot of the former communist party in Poland.
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