Commentary V4

Opinion: Opposition can give PiS constitutional majority

The distribution of the Polish opposition’s power before the elections has occurred in the most beneficial form possible for Law and Justice (PiS), writes Bartosz Bartczak while analyzing the current political landscape.

Civic Platform will start in a coalition with small parties: Modern, the Greens and the Polish Initiative. The peasant party (PSL) will run on its own, the post-communist Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) will join forces with Spring and the Together Party. Kukiz’15 will most likely run with the right-wing Confederation. 

If nothing changes in this set-up before the campaigns start, only PiS and PO will be sure to pass the election threshold. Out of the rest, only the Confederation with Kukiz seems to have the highest chance.

To get into the Sejm as a coalition, you need eight percent of the votes. In 2015, the United Left had 7.5 percent, despite its leaders being confident after polls putting them at 13 percent. Spring also noted similar support prior to the EP elections but ended up gaining only six percent. Current polls show the Left coalition having dropped to the threshold. 

The Left’s politicians should also not feel optimistic about the recent elections: SLD and Together had 8.19 percent in the municipal elections and Spring and Together had 7.3 percent in the EP ones. 

In 2015, PSL barely passed the threshold by 0.13 percent. They did not form a coalition with Kukiz, which was polled to have even 10 percent of the votes. Their result in the municipal elections in 2018 was the lowest one yet and it’s possible that the party will not be able to get into the Sejm.

The anti-system parties (such as Janusz Korwin-Mikke’s and Paweł Kukiz’s) had a combined 25.87 percent of the votes in the 2015 presidential elections. In the parliamentary ones– 13.57 percent. In the municipal elections, 8.48 percent and in the EP ones – 8.24 percent. This shows a decreasing tendency for the support for these movements but combined they could pass the five percent needed for a party to enter parliament.

PiS took full power in 2015 due to the Left running as a coalition and not passing the threshold. Korwin-Mikke did not join forces with Kukiz and also did not get into parliament. 

Today, PSL’s decision to run alone and the Left’s decision to form a coalition might push both those forces below the election threshold. Such a result could give PiS a huge advantage in the Sejm and the few missing votes necessary to change the constitution, they could find themselves among the anti-system politicians.

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