After eight years of running the Polish government, the ruling party had a negative election campaign focused on attacking Donald Tusk while simultaneously attacking the right-wing Confederation party, which could have served as a potential ally, writes Polish political analyst Marcin Palade on his X account.
Palade, who is a psephologist, wrote that he believes that the negative campaign discouraged moderate voters and pushed them into the arms of the centrist Third Way alliance. He also feels that the polarization strategy failed because it mobilized opponents more than supporters of the government.
Unlike 2015 and 2019, the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party focused on its core vote rather than trying to find new voters. It also mistakenly attacked the Confederation party, thereby weakening a potential coalition partner.
The psephologist doubts whether PiS is ready to change its ways. If it continues moving in the direction of concentrating on identity issues, it will lose rather than win votes, he says.
Palade says that PiS has been on a journey starting eight years ago from being a party open to listening to Poles to becoming a party corrupted by power and closed in its own information bubble in the public media.
He writes that PiS failed to learn from the mistakes made by its predecessors related to pride, arrogance, complacency, and self-confidence, leading to them becoming divorced from reality. It failed to take into account social change and the needs of many voters for a positive offer and peace and for their material aspirations to be met.
Palade also warns that PiS does not have a monopoly on the right. Voters who reject the winds of cultural change blowing from the West do have the choice of making their way to the Confederation party. If PiS does not change, many of its voters may begin to vote with their feet, and the political scene on the right will undergo major shifts, warns the psephologist.