The PiS disastrous results in large cities was mostly due to the fear of Center middle-class voters over Poland’s conflict with the European Union. These might have been the same voters who put both PiS and Andrzej Duda in power in 2015.
Some PiS campaign workers admitted that even voters sympathetic to PiS’ cause worried whether such a strong conflict with Brussels was necessary. Poles did not want Poland to grovel before Brussels like it did under Civic Platform, but they felt bad when Poland was reviled.
Poles did not want Poland to grovel before Brussels like it did under Civic Platform, but they felt bad when Poland was reviled
Although many commentators suggested that PiS should forfeit the Center city electorate and focus on its traditionalist base, Jarosław Kaczyński seems to have a different opinion. PiS has decided to focus on PM Morawiecki, who supposedly encouraged Kaczyński to compromise with the EU over judicial reform, or at least remove the topic of the rule of law in Poland for some time, or to lessen the conflict with Brussels.
Killed three birds with one stone
Morawiecki has managed to kill three birds with one stone: he opened the way for an agreement with the EU, or at least to lower its pressure on Poland. He opened PiS towards a more Center-oriented electorate and has started to reset his image. The PM’s image had been damaged during the municipal elections because he focused on the base electorate instead of opening up to the Center.
Although the backtrack from the judiciary reforms is a hard pill for PiS to swallow, Morawiecki has come out strengthened.