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UPDATE: Poland’s ruling conservatives win parliamentary election, but opposition on course to take power - exit poll

15.10.2023 22:30
Poland’s ruling conservatives have won the country’s parliamentary elections, but will not be able to muster a majority in the new parliament, paving the way for the opposition to take power, according to an exit poll released seconds after voting ended on Sunday.
Photo:PAP/Darek Delmanowicz

The governing conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party came first in Sunday’s election, with 36.8 percent of the vote, but the opposition looked poised to form the new government, the exit poll indicated.

The liberal opposition Civic Coalition (KO) finished in second place, with 31.6 percent, and the centre-right Third Way alliance was third with 13 percent, according to the survey by pollster Ipsos.

The New Left party was fourth on 8.6 percent.

The far-right Confederation group, with 6.2 percent, also crossed the 5-percent voter support threshold that Polish parties need to clear to enter parliament.

The exit poll was carried out on election day for television broadcasters TVP, TVN and Polsat, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

According to the poll, Law and Justice secured 200 seats in the Sejm, the lower house of parliament, compared with a combined 248 for the opposition.

The Civic Coalition looked set to have 163 seats in the lower house; the Third Way alliance was seen garnering 55 seats; and the New Left secured 30 seats, according to the survey.

The Confederation was expected to have 12 lawmakers in the 460-seat parliament. 

The Non-Partisan Local Government Activists group received 2.4 percent of the vote, according to the exit poll, and will not be represented in parliament, the PAP news agency reported.

'A new era for Poland': opposition leader

Donald Tusk, the leader of the Civic Coalition, hailed the opposition’s result as “a bright day” marking “the end of the bad time, the end of Law and Justice rule,” and “a day that opens a new era for Poland.”

Tusk, a former prime minister and European Council president, thanked everyone who had voted for the Civic Coalition.

He said: “We’ve done a great thing together. We’ve won freedom, we’ve won democracy, we’ve won our beloved Poland.”

'Big success for our party and our vision of Poland': conservative leader

Meanwhile, Law and Justice leader Jarosław Kaczyński said his party had won its “fourth parliamentary elections” and “third in a row,” following victories in 2015 and 2019, the PAP news agency reported.

Kaczyński, who serves as deputy prime minister, said the result represented “a big success for our party and our vision of Poland,” adding that it remained to be seen “if it can be translated into another term in power.”

'Big change is taking place in Poland'

Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz, co-leader of the Third Way alliance, said, as quoted by PAP: “This is the day when big change is taking place in Poland. It wouldn’t have happened if the Third Way hadn’t been formed.”

Fellow Third Way co-leader Szymon Hołownia said: “The Third Way has been aiming to become an anchor of democracy in Poland ... It looks as though this will be achieved.”

One of the leaders of the New Left, Włodzimierz Czarzasty, said: “The Left is returning to government after 18 years … Our pledges will be delivered.”

Czarzasty said the results meant “there can be no government without the left-wing.”

He added that "a political party exists in order to win power and, by exercising power, to turn its dreams into reality,” the PAP news agency reported. 

Meanwhile, the Confederation’s Sławomir Mentzen conceded that his group’s projected 6.2 percent support and 12 seats in the new parliament represented a “defeat,” the PAP news agency reported.

He added it was “a worse result than anyone had expected.”

According to the Ipsos poll, 72.9 percent of adult Poles voted in the parliamentary elections, the highest voter turnout since 1989, the PAP news agency reported.

The Polish parliamentary election was combined with a referendum on issues including migration and the retirement age.


Source: PAP, National Electoral Commission PKW, Business Insider