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Tag Archives: Aleks Szczerbiak

What are the prospects for the Polish Peasant Party?

The unexpected success of Poland’s agrarian-centrist party in last autumn’s parliamentary election suggests that there could be a niche for a moderate conservative-centrist grouping among voters uncomfortable with the country’s right-wing ruling party and liberal-left opposition, writes Aleks Szczerbiak. But, critics argue, in spite of its changing electorate and apparently more open political style, the agrarian party remains a deeply pragmatic, office-seeking grouping rooted in provincial...

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How will the latest judicial reform controversy affect Poland’s presidential election?

New disciplinary procedures for Polish judges have moved a controversial judicial reform programme to the top of the political agenda in the run-up to Poland’s presidential election in May. Aleks Szczerbiak writes that although the issue could mobilise and consolidate the right-wing vote, thereby helping incumbent President Andrzej Duda, the potential for political instability and legal chaos means it could also damage his re-election prospects. A radical but fiercely contested overhaul of...

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What are the prospects for Poland’s radical right Confederation?

Poland’s October election saw the unexpected success of a strongly pro-free market and nationalist radical right challenger to the ruling party. However, as Aleks Szczerbiak writes, the new grouping’s youthful, anti-establishment core electorate is notoriously fickle, and its ideological eclecticism – and the presence of highly controversial personalities among its leaders – makes it an unstable political construct. Formally constituted at the beginning of 2019, the radical right-wing...

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What to expect from Law and Justice’s second term in government

Law and Justice maintained its position in power at the Polish general election in October, but the party may well face a more challenging political and economic environment during its second term in office. Aleks Szczerbiak explains that to govern effectively, Law and Justice will need to win next May’s crucial presidential election, hope the economy remains buoyant enough to fund its social welfare programmes, and develop a credible new political appeal that transcends its slowly exhausting...

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Who will win the Polish election?

It is almost certain that Law and Justice will emerge from Poland’s parliamentary election this Sunday as the largest grouping, but far from clear if it will retain its overall majority, writes Aleks Szczerbiak. If the governing party secures a second term, it will entrench and push ahead with its reform programme, while any alternative coalition government is likely to be weak and unstable. On 13 October, Poland will hold a parliamentary election which is likely to be one of the most...

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Why is Poland’s Law and Justice party still so popular?

Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party has a lead in the polls ahead of the country’s parliamentary election on 13 October. Aleks Szczerbiak writes that despite intense domestic and international criticism, the party remains popular because it is trusted on the socio-economic issues that voters care most about. Poland’s parliamentary election on 13 October is likely to be one of the most important and consequential since the collapse of communism in 1989. During the last four years, the...

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Can Poland’s opposition win this year’s election?

Poland will hold parliamentary elections later this year. Aleks Szczerbiak writes that the country’s liberal-centrist opposition retains considerable assets, and the overall balance of support between it and the right-wing governing camp remains evenly balanced. But the opposition has wasted too much time looking inward rather than crafting a convincing programmatic alternative, and it still does not know in what configuration it will contest the election. Poland’s liberal-centrist opposition...

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What did the European elections tell us about Poland’s upcoming parliamentary elections?

An unexpectedly decisive European Parliament election victory gave Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party a major boost ahead of parliamentary elections later this year, although doubts remain over whether it will retain its majority. Aleks Szczerbiak explains that simply uniting the main anti-government parties in an ideologically diverse electoral alliance was clearly not enough for the opposition, which still lacks a dynamic leader and a convincing programmatic alternative. The right-wing...

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Have the ‘Kaczyński tapes’ had any impact on Polish politics?

Earlier this year, recordings emerged of the leader of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party discussing a lucrative construction project. Aleks Szczerbiak writes that despite the Polish opposition hoping the case might damage the government’s political appeal, Law and Justice retains credibility among its core supporters and the circumstances surrounding the revelations are too complex for them to be a political game changer. At the end of January, Jarosław Kaczyński, the leader of Poland’s...

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Can Robert Biedroń save the Polish left?

The Polish left-wing politician Robert Biedroń is planning to launch a new political movement in February, ahead of parliamentary elections due to be held later this year. Aleks Szczerbiak explains that as Poland’s most popular and charismatic left-wing politician, Biedroń’s initiative stands a good chance of achieving short-term success. But the grouping’s longer-term prospects are much more questionable, and it has faced sharp criticism that it is dividing the opposition and playing into...

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