President Andrzej Duda’s reelection is not a given but Law and Justice (PiS) might have a secret weapon in the form of its 2015 campaign duo of Andrzej Duda and former Prime Minister Beata Szydło.
At first glance, nothing is secret about the duo’s popularity but as is the case with many well-liked politicians, there is much the opposition do not understand about the potent political force both politicians represent.
Duda and Szydło led a victorious presidential campaign for Law and Justice in 2015, but when you take a closer look, others are planning similar maneuvers this time around.
Nobody is betting that TVN journalist Szymon Hołownia’s candidacy for president exists because he can actually win. Instead, he is looking to build on whatever support he receives in the upcoming election. If he achieves a decent result in the realm of 8 to 10 percent, then he may be able to build on that wave in future elections, a pattern that has already repeated itself in Polish politics.
That is how the Civic Platform (PO) started when it was established after its candidate’s decent result in the 2000 elections. Another example is Paweł Kukiz and the group he created after his 2015 run.
Patience is vital in politics and although PO’s creators had plenty of it, Kukiz was lacking. This leads us to the question of who will use Hołownia’s results and how? It is possible that Donald Tusk may use them in some manner to further his campaign against PiS. One can accuse Tusk of much, but he is a patient man who I think has reignited his passion for Polish politics.
This is why PiS must pursue extraordinary measures or risk a surprise upset. Despite Duda’s strong polling and the backing of PiS, there is no guarantee of victory. PiS is no longer a promise of electoral success but instead a power that should be evaluated and used wisely. Despite its successes, the party also has its burdens.