Poland’s ruling conservatives lose ground in local elections despite topping polls

EPA-EFE/Jacek Bednarczyk

Polish President Andrzej Duda (L) and his wife Agata Kornhauser-Duda (R) vote at a polling station in Krakow, Poland, October 21, 2018.

Poland’s ruling conservatives lose ground in local elections despite topping polls


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Poland’s ruling arch-conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party placed first in a vote that took place on October 21, securing 32.3% share of the vote, an overall number that indicates that the anti-EU party’s political dominance appears to be waning.

Participation in the local election was low at only 41.6%, well below the mandated 50% threshold. The ruling party’s results were nearly 5% lower than what the PiS secured in the 2015 legislative elections when it captured 37.58% of the vote and marks a precipitous drop from the 40% that it was polling at until mid-October.

Exit polls confirm that the PiS continues to have electoral influence over poor and rural communities, but its failure to resonate with Poland’s major urban constituencies, including Warsaw, where the opposition Civic Platform candidate,  Rafał Trzaskowski, captured 54.1% of the vote.

Civic Platform and its rival liberal party, Nowoczesna, secured a combined 24.7% share of the vote, but the political dominance of conservative politics in Poland remains indisputable as the Polish People’s Party came third, securing an additional 16.6% share of the vote.

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