Electoral politics in Poland: the parliamentary elections of 1997

Szczerbiak, Aleks (1998) Electoral politics in Poland: the parliamentary elections of 1997. Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics, 143 (3). pp. 58-83. ISSN 13523279

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The Polish parliamentary election of September 1997 demonstrated the further consolidation of democracy in the years since the fall of communist rule. On a fairly low poll, the governing centre-left coalition was defeated by a new coalition of parties and groupings from the previously deeply fragmented right. The number of parties and groupings was significantly down on previous elections, with only five winning parliamentary seats. The winner was Solidarity Electoral Action (AWS), which ran a very effective campaign, providing a clear focus for opposition to the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD), a communist-successor formation. AWS won by invoking the idea of 'completing the Solidarity revolution' interrupted in the leftward swing of 1993 and competing against a misconceived and complacent campaign by the SLD whose coalition partner, the Polish Peasant Party (PSL), was punished for failing to 'deliver' to its core rural electorate. The election also halted the decline of the liberal Freedom Union (UW) following a dynamic, presidential-style campaign focusing on its leader and author of the post-communist reforms, Leszek Balcerowicz.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Politics
Depositing User: Aleks Szczerbiak
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 21:09
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2012 15:13
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/29839
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