The right-wing opposition party Law and Justice (PiS) is currently backed by 39 percent of Poles, while the ruling center-right Civic Platform (PO) has the support of 30 percent of voters, according to a September TNS Polska poll.
Jarosław Kaczyński, leader of PiS and Prime Minister Donald Tusk, leader of PO
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and KPRM
The Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) enjoys 14 percent support while current junior coalition partner, the Polish People’s Party (PSL), and Palikot’s Movement (RP) would each pool 6 percent support if elections were held today, thereby crossing the 5 percent threshold needed to make it into Poland’s lower house of parliament, the Sejm.
Another September poll had PiS with 30 percent support and PO at 25 percent. SLD again came in third with 8 percent while PSL and RP would just barely scrape into parliament, with 5 percent support.
How the support is divided
Support for Poland’s two largest parties varies widely among demographic groups.
PiS is very popular with the 65+ group where it enjoys 45 percent support while PO is more popular with those between the ages of 35 and 44 where it has 30 percent backing, according to TNS Polska.
PiS is also the party of choice for Poles with a primary-school education among whom it enjoys 41 percent support while PO is backed by 30 percent of those who have a secondary or higher education.
However, irrespective of how political support is divided amongst Polish voters, one factor has remained constant in recent months: within the electorate as a whole PiS is now more popular than PO.
A sure trend
So is the ruling party now on an irreversible downward spiral?
“This trend will continue and maybe even deepen as long as Civic Platform continues to act in the same manner as it has been acting up till now,” said Janusz Czapiński, a professor of social psychology and political commentator.
“They’ve brought no positive changes to people’s lives and a long-promised cabinet reshuffle has been postponed several times,” added Mr Czapiński.
Mr Czapiński said if the ruling party wants to make a comeback it has to do a “thorough analysis” of the voters who have deserted it. “It is mostly the middle-class and wealthier citizens who have turned their backs on Civic Platform, they believe the party no longer represents their interests,” he said.
“These voters are tired of all the regulations and bureaucratic obstacles hampering their everyday lives. Civic Platform has so far done nothing to help them, the party needs to focus on legislation that would help remove those barriers,” said Mr Czapiński.
Meanwhile, Sergiusz Trzeciak, a political consultant and lecturer at Collegium Civitas said the current unfavorable trend for PO will be “extremely difficult” to change. It is rather a matter of how much more support PO will lose, Mr Trzeciak said, as people are “fed up with them and their PR tricks don’t make much of an impression anymore, they have lost credibility.”
“The only thing I can imagine reversing this trend is something unpredictable, some huge scandal in one of their rival parties,” he added.
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