Translating the votes into seats in European parliament, this means PiS will have 27, the European Coalition 22, and Wiosna 3. This was a better result for PiS than exit polls had initially indicated, with their suggestion that the result would be closer and that the nationalist Confederation would achieve 6.1 per cent. In the event it received 4.55 per cent, insufficient for any seats at all.
For many, this vote was seen as a key test for Poland’s political parties ahead of the parliamentary elections in the autumn. If so, it seems that those parties that made up the European Coalition have work to do. Indeed, after yesterday’s defeat, the leader of opposition Civic Platform, part of the European Coalition, said that the party needs “a good political idea” to “mobilise voters much than now.” “What is the idea?” he asks. “I think we just have to find it”.
And that is the problem for the opposition. Without a clear message, there seems little chance that there will be sufficient appeal to voters to defeat PiS in the autumn elections. The opposition task is all the harder when faced with PiS’s clear message, a history of election promises kept, and a strong economy.
Poland elects 52 members of the European Parliament, the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union, which the it joined in 2004. It seems likely that there will now be a cabinet reshuffle since several Polish government ministers are expected to switch Warsaw for Brussels after successfully running were elected to the European Parliament.
Author: Nicholas Richardson