Analysis: Law and Justice wins general election

According to an Exit Poll released by the three major TV networks, the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) won Sunday’s Parliamentary election.

The exit poll gave PiS 43.6 percent of the vote. Second were the Civic Coalition (KO) with 27.4 percent. In third place came the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) with 11.9 percent.

Another party to have cleared the electoral threshold required for Parliamentary representation is the Polish Coalition (PSL) with 9.6 percent of the vote. The radical right Confederation managed 6.4 percent.

The turnout is estimated to have been 61.1 percent. This would be a record in democratic post- 1989 Poland and a ten percentage points increase on the last election in 2015.

The exit poll estimates that PiS will have 239 seats in the 460 seat Lower House. The KO will have 130 the SLD 43 and the PSL 34 and Confederation will have 13.

No estimates are being given for the elections to the Senate in which there was an opposition unity slate standing in the 100 single member constituencies. The Senate, unlike the Lower House, is elected on the first-past-the-post basis.

Votes will be counted in the election precincts over-night. A late poll with an adjustment made after comparing survey results with the actual votes cast in the precincts covered in the poll will come out in the early hours of the morning. Should the PiS vote be lower than that reported in the exit poll then it might not win an outright parliamentary majority.

Comment:

If confirmed by the actual results tomorrow the ruling party is back in office for another four year term. This is not unexpected as PiS have had a good campaign and had a strong record in government to back it.

If the exit poll is right, then PiS have managed to increase its share of the vote by six percentage points on its 2015 showing and garner 2 million more votes than last time. However, opinion polls during the campaign had been giving it a higher percentage score and an even more comfortable parliamentary majority.

The KO will be licking its wounds tonight and tomorrow. Their campaign did not go well and the two parties that dominate in the KO (Civic Platform and Modern) actually polled less, in percentage terms, together then they had managed separately four years ago. Questions about leadership and future strategy will be asked.

The election marks the return of the SLD to Parliament. Four years ago the left ran on two slates with both failing to make it into Parliament. Now that the left wing parties have managed to unite and can look forward to progress in the future.

The PSL will be happy tonight. They have survived yet again and managed to increase its share of the poll by over four percentage points.

The extreme right in Poland, in the shape of Confederation will be hoping that this poll is correct and they have made it into Parliament.

This election has finished. But next year comes the Presidential election. All the political forces will be plotting soon on how to fight that contest. In modern day politics as soon one election campaign finishes, another one begins.


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