Exit poll: PiS wins Polish elections, but opposition could form government

According to exit polls the ruling Conservatives (PiS) have come first in the election but it is the opposition lead by Donald Tusk’s Civic Coalition (KO) which together with the centrist Third Way coalition and the Left look likely to have a majority in parliament

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: polsatnews.pl
Donald Tusk, a former Polish prime minister, addresses supporters at his party headquarters in Warsaw, Poland, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

The exit poll results shared by Ipsos for Polsat, TVN, and TVP television network suggest that in the elections, the Law and Justice party (PiS) is likely to hold 198 seats in the parliament with 36,6 percent of the vote. This indicates that they will not achieve the Sejm (a lower chamber of the Polish parliament) majority required of 231 seats.

Civic Coalition (KO) comes in second place with the potential to hold 163 seats, having received 31 percent of the support.

The Third Way achieved the third-highest result, potentially securing 57 seats with 13,5 percent of the vote.

Close behind, The Left has received 8.6 percent support, translating to 30 seats.

Additionally, the Confederation will also find a place in the Sejm with a result of 6.4 percent, corresponding to 14 seats.

However, the Non-partisan Local Government Activists will not be represented in the lower house of the parliament, having not crossed the 5 percent electoral threshold, only securing 2.4 percent of the votes.

Even with a potential coalition with the Confederation, the exit polls indicate that PiS won’t secure an independent majority in the Sejm, as they would only command 212 seats together.

In contrast, the opposition stands a chance to form the government, as a coalition of Civic Coalition (KO), Third Way, and The Left have collectively secured 248 seats.

The stronger-than-expected showing of both the KO and Third Way, together with the vote of the Left party holding up, looks to have given the opposition a majority in parliament. 

Since PiS won the most votes and seats, it is likely that President Andrzej Duda will call upon that party to form a government. However, it is highly unlikely that such an attempt will be successful given the parliamentary arithmetic. 

Though the opposition parties are likely to be able to form a government, their ability to push through a legislative program will be limited by the fact that they will not have a majority of 60 percent of all seats to overturn the president’s power of legislative veto.   

Whatever the final results, the turnout figures in this election are 10 percent up on the election of four years ago, according to the state election body, and are projected to be 72.9 percent by exit polling.

According to the IPSOS survey, only 40 percent of the voters participated in the referendum, therefore its results will not be binding even though those who took part overwhelmingly backed the government’s policies on migration, privatization and the age of retirement. 

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