The Confederation party’s polling average is now 14 percent and rising, with the party’s gains coming at the cost of both the liberal opposition Civic Platform (PO) and the ruling conservatives. The only electorate it cannot reach is that of the Left, and the centrist alliance has also been marginalized.
The party is benefitting from the growth of social media at the expense of traditional media. It is very savvy on social media and seems to have developed a Teflon effect, with any slip-ups or controversies failing to stick to it.
The rise of Confederation is a real problem for the ruling party. First of all, Law and Justice (PiS) is in danger of losing among certain social groups, such as the young. Second, the stronger Confederation becomes, the more appetite it will have to attempt to replace Law and Justice (PiS) on the right. This means they will be tempted to oust the conservatives from power and seek another election on more favorable terms.
However, the contradictions within Confederation will be its undoing. Its economic liberalism, ambiguity on Russia, and nationalism hostile to Ukraine cannot be hidden forever. The liberals know this and therefore do not view the party as a threat. They think they can deal with Confederation and that is why they will be prepared to ally with it in order to oust the ruling conservatives.
This is why Confederation is effectively the stalking horse for liberal rule in Poland.
However, the election campaign has only just begun, and it may well be that Confederation has peaked too soon. One thing is for certain. PiS cannot approach this election in the same way it did four years ago. It must return to the kind of thinking of 2014 and 2015 and come up with new ideas.
It may just be that Confederation’s rise will lead the ruling party to rise to the challenge and show a fresh face.