Yesterday, Poles handed the Law and Justice party (PIS) victory in the Polish parliamentary election. No surprise here, as their win was widely predicted, and exit polls gave them a resounding victory with 37.7% of the vote. The incumbent centrist Civic Platform was decimated, securing just 23% of the vote, less than half of what they had achieved in the previous general election. What was however totally unexpected was the complete annihilation of the left: the new parliament will not see any left-of-centre parties represented, for the first time since the restoration of democracy in 1989. Indeed, on the basis of the exit polls, only three other parties are projected to win enough votes to secure seats: the Polish Peasants’ Party, and two new kids on the block, rock star Pawel Kukiz’s eponymous right-wing party, and Modern Poland, a pro-business party. In this snapshot we analyse the outcome and what it means for Poland and its neighbours.
Justyna Slominska is Senior Consultant and Mateusz Stankiewicz-Szynka is Consultant at FTI Consulting in Brussels