Polish voters head to the polls May 25 to elect deputies to the European Parliament in a key test for the country’s political parties ahead of upcoming local, presidential and parliamentary elections.
Poland’s largest opposition party, Law and Justice (PiS), which for several months has led in the opinion polls, is hoping the European elections will allow it to demonstrate its strength and deal a humiliating blow to the ruling Civic Platform (PO) party. The PO and the Polish People’s Party (PSL), coalition partners that have been in government since 2007, have been trying to persuade voters that they are the only parties capable of effectively representing Poland in the EU.
The governing parties and PiS are openly treating the European elections as a showdown before Poland’s local elections this autumn and parliamentary and presidential elections in the autumn of 2015.
Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s PO party also held a convention in April. Jacek Rostowski, a former finance minister in the PO-PSL Cabinet, said during the convention that, in the face of Russian aggression against Ukraine, it was vital for Europe and NATO countries to stand united.
Recent opinion polls indicate that only three Polish parties will make it into the European Parliament. According to the TNS Polska polling company, these are PiS with a forecast 31-percent level of voter support, the PO with 27 percent, and the SLD with 8 percent. However, 21 percent of respondents were still undecided about whom they would support.
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(Polish prime minister Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker, the EPP nominee for European Commission president, in Poznan on April 25. Photo: Jean-Claude Juncker/flickr.com)