Election Briefing 55: Europe and the June/July 2010 Polish presidential election

Szczerbiak, Aleks (2010) Election Briefing 55: Europe and the June/July 2010 Polish presidential election. Technical Report. European Parties Elections and Referendums Network (EPERN), Brighton.

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Abstract

- The 2010 Polish Presidential election, originally scheduled for the autumn, was held early following the tragic death of President Lech Kaczyński in a plane crash at Smolensk in western Russia.
- Bronisław Komorowski, the candidate of the governing centre-right Civic Platform (PO) party, overcame a robust challenge from Jarosław Kaczyński, the late President’s twin brother and leader of the right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party, to win a tightly contested second round run off by 53% to 47%.
- Grzegorz Napieralski, the leader of the communist successor Democratic Left Alliance (SLD), also ran a surprisingly vigorous campaign to come in third with 13.7% of the votes in the first round.
- The election shows us that the Smolensk tragedy accelerated the declining effectiveness of opposition to Law and Justice's 'Fourth Republic' project, the key to Civic Platform's dominance of the political scene over the last few years, as method of counter-mobilisation.
- The Smolensk tragedy allowed both Mr Kaczyński and Law and Justice to reinvent themselves and reach out to moderate voters, apparently making the party electable once again.
- However, immediately after the election Mr Kaczyński returned to his earlier harsh and aggressive rhetoric.
- The decline in fear of the 'Fourth Republic' also opened up the space for the Democratic Left Alliance to emerge as a serious challenger on the political left.
- Although European policy was not a major campaign theme, on a couple of occasions it did move to the centre of political debate.

Item Type: Reports and working papers (Technical Report)
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sussex European Institute
Depositing User: Aleks Szczerbiak
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:25
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2012 11:57
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/25874
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