February 21. 2024. 6:25

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Most Poles believe ruling conservatives are here to stay, poll suggests

Upcoming parliamentary elections will not change the power dynamic in the country as the current conservative coalition is set to secure its third victory in a row, according to over half of Poles who responded to a survey published Monday.

The United Surveys Institute published a poll for RMF FM radio and Dziennik Gazeta Prawna news outlet taking stock of the public’s political stance eight months before the election.

According to the survey, 52% of Poles believe the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS, ECR) is set to win the elections in November, while 42.7% of the respondents say they are convinced PiS will form a new government and rule for the third consecutive term, either alone or in a coalition.

Only 26.8% of the respondents said they believe in the victory of the pro-European Civic Coalition (KO, EPP), the largest opposition party, led by former European Council President Donald Tusk.

Despite laying out longtime plans, opposition parties have so far failed to unite against the ruling PiS party due to different interests and extremely divergent political lines, which KO spokesman Jan Grabiec points at as the main reason people lose faith in opposition parties’ success.

“A few months ago, such polls looked completely different. When other parties said they did not want to form a joint election bloc with the Civic Coalition and preferred to go their own way, part of the opposition’s electorate lost their confidence that the opposition, divided as it is, would be able to win,” Grabiec told EURACTIV Poland.

Still, he added that the Civic coalition has its plans for the campaign and will use the incoming months to convince those undecided that it is worth voting.

Regardless of the polls, victory is still not out of sight for the Civic coalition, according to the KO spokesperson. The current situation in the polls is similar to the situation before the 2007 elections, where the Civic Coalition (then known as Civic Platform, PO) “managed to win the parliamentary election with a considerable advantage,” he added.

According to Grabiec, it led the party to regaining power from PiS and to the formation of three consecutive governments, two by Donald Tusk and one by Ewa Kopacz.

While Tusk’s PO has always maintained good relations with Brussels, the eight-year rule of Jarosław Kaczyński’s PiS is marked by a conflict with the European Commission over the rule of law. Both the Commission and the EU Court of Justice consider that judicial reform introduced by PiS since it came to power in 2015 threatens judicial independence and is aimed at persecuting PiS’ political opponents.

After promoting the young and dynamic Mayor of Warsaw, Rafał Trzaskowski, as the party’s face over the past few years, the Civic Coalition now seems to rely once more on Tusk as its frontrunner since Trzaskowski lost against PiS’ Duda during the last 2020 presidential elections.

Tusk, perceived as a political heavyweight and one of the most successful Polish politicians abroad, abandoned his presidency in the European People’s Party and returned to national politics in 2021 to lead the party he once co-founded to battle against the ruling conservative PiS party.

(Aleksandra Krzysztoszek | EURACTIV.pl)