Key Takeaways From Poland's Local Elections
Ruling Bloc Expands Control Over Key Cities While Rival PiS Secures Largest Overall Share of Votes

April 9, 2024
In the first electoral contest since Poland’s parliamentary elections last October, the local elections held on 7 April have been hailed as a victory by both the senior ruling Civic Coalition of Prime Minister Donald Tusk and the lead opposition Law and Justice party (PiS) of Jarosław Kaczyński.

Although the lead opposition PiS secured the largest share of overall votes (34.3% against KO’s 30.6%), Tusk’s party – despite failing to overtake PiS as the largest party – emerged victorious from the majority of regional elections. KO won in nine of Poland’s sixteen regions and so is on track to form coalition majorities in 11 of the 16 regional assemblies. KO candidate and incumbent Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski also secured re-election with a convincing result in the Polish capital, while other largest cities will remain under opposition control. Looking ahead, Trzaskowski is seen as a possible contender for the next Presidential elections in mid-2025.

Critics argue that, during the early months of the third Tusk Government, politics has overshadowed policy, given the new government’s extensive focus on sweeping away the remnants of the PiS era. Heading into the parliamentary term, policy initiatives are likely to receive more attention, but this will most likely come only after the EU parliamentary elections.

While Aretera expects Poland’s ideologically and structurally diverse ruling coalition to remain united by their staunch opposition to PiS, political stability may be impacted by the aftermath of both the local and EU elections, potentially along ideological rifts between the junior coalition Lewica and the rest of the ruling bloc.
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