Farmers and working class overwhelmingly back conservative PiS in Poland’s local elections

Polish farmers block roads with tractors in Kazun Polski near Warsaw, Poland, on Wednesday, March 20, 2024, as they escalate a three-month protest against Ukrainian imports and European Union climate policies. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
By John Cody
3 Min Read

Farmers likely played a key role in handing Law and Justice (PiS) a victory at the polls during the local elections held across Poland this weekend.

While official results of Sunday’s local elections in Poland may not be available until Wednesday, more detailed data is coming in. It is already known how different voter groups cast their ballots, including farmers, which is a group that has been especially vocal in recent weeks as agricultural groups ramp up national protests against cheap Ukrainian imports and the EU’s Green Deal.

The Law and Justice (PiS) party led by Jarosław Kaczyński received 33.7 percent of the Polish vote, with the governing Civic Coalition (KO) trailing closely at 31.9 percent. Third place went to the Third Way (an alliance of Hołownia and PSL), which garnered 13.5 percent of the votes. The right-wing Confederation received 7.5 percent, and the Left attained 6.8 percent of the vote share.

If the outcome of the municipal elections had been decided by farmers, it would have brought a decisive victory for Law and Justice. According to Ipsos data, Kaczyński’s party received a staggering 57.3 percent of votes from this group. The Third Way was the second choice for farmers with 15.1 percent, followed by the Civic Coalition with 9.6 percent of the votes. The Confederation was slightly less popular among farmers, receiving 9.3 percent, while the Left was chosen by only 3.4 percent.

The farmers have been engaging in nationwide demonstrations for some time. Just last week, there was an occupational strike at the Ministry of Agriculture, while previously, numerous road blockades had occurred throughout the country. Among the reasons for the farmers’ protests are the EU Green Deal, which raises their production costs, and the influx of grain and agricultural products from neighboring countries to the east, including not only Ukraine but also Russia and other countries.

Considering the employment type of the voters, PiS triumphed also among workers (44.5 percent vs. 19.6 percent for KO), the unemployed (42.5 percent vs. 21.9 percent for KO), and pensioners (42.6 percent vs. 36.2 percent for KO).

Meanwhile, the Civic Coalition won among business owners (39.5 percent vs. 22.7 percent for PiS); individuals in managerial, directorial, and specialist positions (39.1 percent vs. 21 percent for PiS); and administration employees (31.8 percent vs. 27.9 percent for PiS).

Among students and pupils, the Civic Coalition led (28.9 percent) followed by the Third Way (18.1 percent), with PiS in third place (17.9 percent).

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