The Civic Platform’s (PO) situation is getting worse. Last week saw the expulsion of two conservative MPs from the party. This week began with the departure of well-known MEP Róża Thun who could not bear her party’s policy concerning ratifying the European Recovery Fund. Moreover, at the end of last week, the Civic Platform was shaken by a letter signed by over 50 MPs and senators who demanded changes to the party’s policy. All of this is accompanied by increasingly worse results in polling.
According to a survey carried out by United Surveys a few days ago, PO would have 12 percent of support. Meanwhile, a poll conducted by the Centre for Public Opinion Research (CBOS) also found the party would receive 12 percent of votes. Even if these results are underestimated by a few percentage points, it is obvious that they are far from the expectations of the party’s activists.
When asked about the circumstances for expelling the two conservative MPs, Paweł Zaleski and Ireneusz Raś, PO politicians admitted that it was not a good moment to do so.
“Nevertheless, there will be no good moments for such moves in the upcoming months. All of them will be bad,” one of the members of the party’s leadership said anonymously, which displayed a fair amount of realism about the situation PO is facing.
“We had to put down a dam against PO being hurt by its own MPs,” he said, adding that proof of the disloyalty of the expelled MPs were the interviews they gave to Polish public television TVP, which PO considers a mortal enemy. He also admitted that Róża Thun’s departure was a blow to the party.
There is a conviction within the Civic Platform that in such a difficult situation, difficult decisions must be made. It is better to do so now rather than let these decisions drag the party down later on when it will begin to, as its activists hope, climb out of its poll depression.
A particular reason for frustration for the largest opposition party may be the results of Szymon Hołownia’s Poland 2050. Yet, within the party itself, many repeat that a similar situation was taking place in 2016 when the Modern party was ahead of PO in polls.
The Civic Platform believes that there will be a beneficial rebound for it when the party’s politicians explain to voters why it abstained from voting in favor of the EU Recovery Fund.
The problem is that this is not the only issue which PO voters do not understand. Another difficulity is that PO politicians themselves do not understand why Rafał Trzaskowski is building his own movement and a youth movement outside from PO, while admitting that his party’s logo scares off new voters. If PO politicians do not understand why this is happening, then how are the voters meant to?
Another point worth considering is what could possibly spark this beneficial rebound for PO?
The more Poles get vaccines, the more restrictions will be loosened, and the more social sentiment will improve. Meanwhile, good social moods are not good news for the opposition, which is currently lost.
Title image: Civic Platform MEP Róża Thun announced on Monday that she has quit as party member. She explained that her views were at odds with the official party line, and that the vote over the Recovery Fund was the last straw, source: Róża’s Thun Twitter/Periscope account, picture grab.