Poles want televised debate ahead of election, but who would win?

By Grzegorz Adamczyk
3 Min Read

A recent poll by IBRiS for the Rzeczpospolita paper revealed that 81 percent of Poles support a pre-election debate between the party leaders running for parliament.

A total of 48 percent of respondents were very keen on the idea, while 33 percent believed that such a debate should probably take place. In contrast, just 11.6 percent of respondents were against a leadership debate, just 4.8 percent of whom were decisively opposed to it.

In December 2022, the leader of the ruling party in Poland, Jarosław Kaczyński, did not rule out the possibility of debating Donald Tusk. “If it’s a debate under fair conditions, and Donald Tusk would give some sign that he won’t be throwing insults or threats, that he won’t follow the path he’s been taking so far, then yes,” the Law and Justice (PiS) chairman told Radio Plus.

“I am ready for a debate at any time and place, Mr. Chairman. I’ll be tender and gentle, although I can’t promise amnesty,” Tusk replied in a tweet. Despite these declarations, it is still not known whether the leaders of the two largest parties in Poland will face off in a debate before the elections.

Participants in the SW Research survey for rp.pl were asked who, in their opinion, would be the winner of a Tusk-Kaczyński debate. Just 18.2 percent of respondents indicated that, in their opinion, Kaczyński would win this debate, while 38.9 percent backed Tusk. Some 12.5 percent of those polled believed the debate would end in a draw, and 30.4 percent had no opinion on the matter.

“Nearly half of respondents (47 percent) over the age of 50 believe that Donald Tusk would be the winner of a potential pre-election debate,” said Wiktoria Maruszczak, senior project manager at SW Research.

“Apart from the oldest group, people with higher education (46 percent) and respondents with income ranging from PLN 3,000 to 4,000 net (about €680-900) (46 percent) also most often indicate the PO leader (Tusk). Every second respondent from cities with a population of between 20,000-99,000 inhabitants believes that the winner of the pre-election debate would be Donald Tusk,” she added.

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