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Grzegorz Schetyna Law and Justice PiS PO Poland Szymon Hołownia Commentary

Despite COVID-19 crisis, Polish ruling party soars in the polls

The opposition should be able to use the crisis against the center-right ruling government, but they are failing at showing they have any solution that Poles would trust, writes Patryk Osowski

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Patryk Osowski

While coronavirus ravages the global economy and threatens healthcare systems worldwide, Poles increasingly say they trust their government. According to collective data from five surveys in January, Poland’s ruling center-right Law and Justice (PiS) has the support of 37.5 percent of voters compared to the Civic Platform’s (PO) 23 percent, 

The situation remains dire. The economy has come to a halt, shops and restaurants are closed, thousands of Poles are sick, and the rest sit in home under quarantine. In these dire times for the government times, support for PiS reaches almost 40 percent in surveys. Meanwhile, the leader of the opposition, Borys Budka, who should theoretically be scoring political while criticizing the government, is instead being mocked by former PO leader Grzegorz Schetyna at a time when Budka’s party is sinking in the polls.

Is it worth believing polls? Not entirely. Should we be excited by them? Without exaggeration. Each of them is made on demand and the questions can be constructed so that the result will resemble the one which the company responsible wanted to achieve.

Yet, the assembly of several surveys from different companies and institutions gives us a certain picture of the situation.

Poll analyst Marcin Palade has just published the average results of five surveys from 2021. It turns out that in such a collection of data, among decided voters, PiS has the support of 37.5 percent of Poles — an identical result to December.

PO, on the other hand, has only 23 percent of support, a 2.5-percentage-point decrease compared to the previous month.

Who has made gains? Independent Szymon Hołownia’s Poland 2050 Party comes third with 16 percent of the vote (a 2.5-percentage=point increase). The Left (10 percent), Confederation (7 percent) and Polish People’s Party PSL (5.5 percent) would also enter parliament.

The average after five January 2021 surveys looks as follows:

The first conclusion is that Poles still see that PO does not have any valid concept for ruling the country.

“When I left PO leadership, the party had 31 percent of support, won the Senate and defended its strongholds in cities. Budka took over from this and after a year we can ask where is PO?” Former Civing Platform leader Grzegorz Schetyna said, referring to his party’s recent polling.

The coronavirus is a historic event and catastrophe which no one could have predicted. Meanwhile, the main opposition force, which bears no responsibility in government for handling the crisis, can only suggest solutions and criticize the government, but it is losing in polls the most.

The Civic Platform, which has perfect conditions to catch up and overtake PiS, will soon be overtaken by Poland 2050.

In the most recent parliamentary elections in 2019, PO still had 27 percent of support. Today, it has 4-percentage points fewer. The powerful conflicts associated with animal rights and the abortion ban should have drowned the government, but we have not seen anything of the sort.

The next elections are in over two and a half years and much may still change. Yet, if the opposition is unable to exploit the coronavirus crisis, which shook the entire world and is making 38 million Poles suffer, then it is hard to imagine that the opposition will be able to utilize something else.

The main element which will influence the division of mandates in parliament in the upcoming term may be Poland 2050. Hołownia’s group has successfully grabbed some PO voters and may be the deciding factor.

But is Hołownia truly running a long-term project unlike his predecessors? Given the recent departures of his activists and the fact that he is surrounded mostly by PO politicians, probably not.