Poland: Conservatives need to revamp image and broaden base following mixed local election results, advises expert

The Law and Justice party (PiS) must expand its electorate and not rest on its laurels after winning in several medium-sized cities, advises Professor Henryk Domański of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN)

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, front, the leader of the Law and Justice party, speaks to supporters in Pruszkow, Poland, Sept. 27, 2023. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski, File)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
2 Min Read

During an interview with DoRzeczy.pl, sociology Professor Henryk Domański assessed the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party’s performance in the second round of local elections, where they faced defeats in most cities but managed victories in smaller towns.

“It’s clear, PiS loses in cities. The larger the city, the more likely their defeat, which reflects the demographic and professional structure of these urban areas, where higher-educated and higher-positioned voters typically support the Civic Platform (PO),” Domański explained.

The professor pointed out that while it is crucial not to become complacent with these victories, there is a greater need to appeal to a broader electorate in larger cities.

“This can be achieved only by changing PiS’s image from a party perceived as parochial and outdated by city dwellers,” he stated. Despite tough battles in cities where the competition was fierce among candidates close to Civic Platform, PiS representatives did not manage to turn the tide.

Discussing the performance of the Left, Domański noted their success in securing the mayoralty in the medium size city of Włocławek, contrasting it with the broader European context where the left often governs many cities.

“The Polish left does not mirror the Western social democratic parties, which are known for fighting for women’s rights, sexual minorities, and better work conditions,” he said. Domański described Poland’s New Left as an amalgam of various groups struggling to define themselves clearly, which complicates voters’ decisions.

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