The leader of the Polish opposition, Donald Tusk, is facing an uphill battle in persuading the Polish electorate to trust him on immigration, recent polling has shown.
With the backdrop of the European Union’s proposed migration pact, the issue of immigration will be one of the main concerns of Polish voters in the election this autumn.
The Polish government has vehemently opposed the plans from Brussels. However, the leader of the Polish opposition, Donald Tusk, recently attempted to change the narrative, accusing the governing Law and Justice (PiS) party of granting work permits to 135,000 migrants “from Muslim countries” last year. However, government data published by the Internal Affairs Ministry debunked this claim, revealing the true figure was closer to 30,000, more than four times lower.
According to the wpolityce.pl conservative news outlet, the opposition leader’s remarks did not convince a majority of Poles. A study conducted by the Social Changes research institute for wPolityce.pl showed that most respondents do not see Tusk as an effective protector against mass immigration.
Respondents were asked whether they believe Tusk’s assurances that he will defend Poland against mass immigration from Muslim countries, to which 58 percent replied they do not. Of this figure, 41 percent chose “definitely not.”
Some 28 percent of respondents expressed their faith in Donald Tusk to tackle the issue, while 16 percent had no firm view.
Meanwhile, 40 percent of respondents believe the European Commission will not exempt Poland from the obligation to accept immigrants from Asian and African countries, under the so-called compulsory relocation scheme. However, opposition politicians believe that Poland should take this route by submitting requests to the European Commission.
The immigration issue will continue to dominate the Polish election campaign, and according to the Social Changes poll, Donald Tusk’s credibility in this area is very low.