The fourth week of election campaign in Poland (30 August-5 September 2023)

by | Sep 5, 2023 | Blog | 0 comments

The fourth week of the campaign was dominated by Law and Justice’s reshuffle of candidate lists and mildly controversial speeches by the opposition leaders at Campus Poland. In election polls, the governing party maintains a clear lead but lacks a majority to govern without the help of the Confederacy.

The 1st of September marks the end of summer holidays for schools and the anniversary of Hitler’s invasion of Poland in 1939. However, this year, the day marked the beginning of the decisive phase of the election campaign. In the final days of August, the media were still digesting Law and Justice’s decision to place Jarosław Kaczyński as a candidate in the city of Kielce and the Civic Coalition’s response of putting the ultraconservative-turned-liberal Roman Giertych as Kaczyński’s arch-nemesis in the same district.

The approaching registration deadline for the candidate lists forced the parties to finally unveil their candidates in all voting districts. Law and Justice made a splash again as the decision to place the party leader in Kielce created a domino effect. A politician who was previously the list headliner there was moved to another district, which, in turn, forced the party to move the previous list leader there to yet another district and so on. While local party structures were very unhappy about the countrywide parachuting festival, some commentators appreciated the reshuffle as it optimizes Law and Justice’s chances to win additional seats.

Another type of festival, with opposition leaders lining up to take the stage, took place at Rafał Trzaskowski’s Campus Poland of the Future. Although it should be considered a Civic Coalition event, the organizers – who previously canceled the “Symmetrists Panel” – invited the Third Way’s Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz and Szymon Hołownia, as well as the Left’s Robert Biedroń and Włodzimierz Czarzasty. A minor controversy was caused by Hołownia who refused to support same-sex marriages which was not appreciated by the liberal audience. The Campus concluded with the debate between Trzaskowski and Donald Tusk. Trzaskowski, who is 51 years old, is considered to be the face of the Civic Platform’s younger generation. Tusk, at 66, still has a good rapport with young voters and is not eager to loosen his grip as the party leader. It says much about the debate that its most entertaining part was the questions from the audience, with one female attendee offering a long self-promoting speech before asking Tusk about what he has to offer to such talented young people as herself.

Online activities:

Since September 4th, Law and Justice has been utilizing a #KonkretyPiS hashtag to promote specific issues from their program. The first two promises have been the “Friendly Estate” program of refurbishment and modernization of communist-era concrete housing blocks and the improvement of the quality of hospital meals. The hashtag was immediately used by the opposition and critical journalists to question Law and Justice’s policies. Civic Coalition responded to the “Friendly Estate” promise with Facebook ads that remind people of the party’s record in building new houses. On YouTube, the Civic Coalition campaign is more negative, as the party continues to publish short videos with the contents of leaked emails read by AI.

In the polls:

According to recent polls, Law and Justice would receive 35.3% of the votes. Civic Coalition is second with 27.5%, and the three smaller parties would get around 10% each. The trends seem to favour the governing party, which either maintains or gains support in the polls. Civic Coalition is consistently losing a few percentage points in each new poll. The Confederacy becomes

In other news:

  • The Left has been the only committee with 50/50 representation of men and women on their lists.
  • In an unrelated move, Law and Justice placed on their list the nationalist movement leader Robert Bąkiewicz, who earlier this year was found guilty of beating up a woman.
  • Regarding women’s rights: Civic Coalition, which promises to legalize abortion until the 12th week of pregnancy, first removed and then reinstated on their election list a parliament member, Franek Sterczewski, who dared to question Tusk’s favourite, Roman Giertych, about his position on abortion.