According to an Ipsos exit poll, in the Polish parliamentary elections on Sunday the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party secured 36.8 per cent of the votes. The polls results, released shortly after the closing of polling stations, suggest that the main opposition force, the Civic Coalition (KO), came in second, with 31.6 per cent of the votes.
The third place with 13 per cent of the votes would go to the also opposition Third Way. The New Left, with 8.6 per cent of the votes, and the alliance of national radical and new liberal parties, the Confederation with 6.2 per cent, would also exceed the parliamentary threshold. The margin of error of the exit poll is 2 per cent according to Ipsos.
Based on the results of the exit polls, PiS would obtain 200 seats, KO 163 seats, Third Way 55 seats, New Left 30 seats, and the Confederation 12 seats in the 460-member House. The final allocation of seats based on the election results is likely to be announced only on Tuesday. The voter turnout for the elections was at a record high, standing at 72.9 per cent.
The referendum held concurrently with the parliamentary elections will be invalidated. The referendum would be valid if more than half of eligible voters had participated, but according to the exit poll, the turnout was 40 per cent. The referendum, initiated by the ruling party, addressed issues related to the European Union’s migration package, the privatization of state assets, retirement age, and the construction of a steel barrier on the Belarusian border.
PiS leader Jarosław Kaczyńsi described his party’s result as a great success, emphasizing that Law and Justice has now won parliamentary elections for the fourth time in its history and the third consecutive time. However, the PiS president noted that
the question remains whether this success can be transformed into another period of governance.
He stressed that regardless of the final voting results, the governing coalition will do everything to continue implementing its programme.
During the press conference of the Polish National Electoral Commission (PKW) on Sunday, more than two hundred minor incidents having occurred during the voting were reported. In one Warsaw polling station, a pyrotechnic inspection was needed due to an abandoned backpack. Furthermore, the PKW received numerous complaints regarding irregularities observed by voters when receiving referendum ballots at polling stations.
If Polish President Andrzej Duda tasks the Law and Justice (PiS) coalition with forming the government, the coalition will strive to form a stable cabinet, Mateusz Morawiecki, the outgoing prime minister, said commenting on the preliminary results of the Polish parliamentary elections. After presenting the exit poll results, Morawiecki stated: ‘If the president assigns the candidate of the winning coalition with the mission, we will certainly aim to form a stable government.’ The politician also cautioned that final results are still awaited, reminding that ‘We may wake up tomorrow with completely different numbers. It is possible that PiS will have 212 seats.’
Hungarian conservative outlets have also recalled that the Ipsos exit poll in the recent Slovak elections proved to be fairly inaccurate, underestimating the support for Robert Fico’s Smer.
KO leader Donald Tusk stated that he will initiate coalition negotiations with other opposition leaders only after the final results are known.
President Andrzej Duda announced last week that, in line with Polish political tradition, he will entrust the winning party with forming the government after the elections.
According to the Polish National Electoral Commission the final election results are expected for Tuesday.
Sources: Hungarian Conservative/AFP/MTI