Essay by Eric Worrall
Centrist Parties Poised to Oust Poland’s Nationalist Government
The election, seen as one of the most significant in decades, was cast as a choice between the defense of Polish sovereignty and liberal values.
By Andrew Higgins
Reporting from Warsaw
Oct. 15, 2023 Updated 7:10 p.m. ET
Centrist and progressive forces appeared capable of forming a new government in Poland after securing more seats in a critical general election on Sunday, despite the governing nationalist party, Law and Justice, winning the most votes for a single party.
Exit polls showing a strong second place finish by the main opposition group, Civic Coalition, and better than expected results for two smaller centrist and progressive parties suggested a dramatic upset that would frustrate the governing party’s hope of an unprecedented third consecutive term.
Piotr Buras, the head of the Warsaw office of the European Council on Foreign Relations, declared the election “a triumph of both democracy and liberalism” that “opens the way for a massive reorientation of Poland’s domestic and European policy.”
Poland’s Law and Justice party has been a major thorn in the side of European environmental zealotry, amongst other things they have consistently used their influence inside the EU to defend Poland’s sizeable coal generation and heavy industrial manufacturing heartland.
Poland’s Law and Justice Party also notably stopped supplying weapons to Ukraine in September, after Ukraine undermined the livelihoods of Polish farmers, by dumping subsidised grain on the European market.
While it is possible Law and Justice may cling on – their defeat is not quite a done deal – most pundits seem to be calling that Law and Justice opponents have the numbers to form a new government.