Poland: Tusk’s desire for single list of left-liberal coalition in local elections rejected, 2 blocks likely

Polish PM Donald Tusk has made it clear he would like all the parties that make up his governing coalition to form one list in the local elections, but this will be thwarted by the parties that make up the Third Way electoral alliance

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: salon24.pl
Szymon Holownia, left, head of the Poland 2050 party; Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz, head of the Polish People's Party; Donald Tusk, center, head of the Civic Coalition; Wlodzimierz Czarzasty, a co-chairman of the New Left party; and Robert Biedron, the other co-chairman of the New Left, sign a coalition agreement, in Warsaw, Poland, on Friday, Nov. 10, 2023. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

The decision taken by the Polish People’s Party (PSL) and Szymon Hołownia’s Poland 2050 means that Donald Tusk’s preferred option, that his Civic Coalition (KO), the Third Way and the Left party unite on one list for the local elections, will not be realized.

The best the ruling coalition can achieve will be to face voters on two lists: one for Third Way and one on which the KO will unite with the Left. 

The leaders of the Left party, Włodzimierz Czarzasty and Robert Biedroń, have confirmed that they are ready and willing to join Tusk’s KO for the local elections due in Poland on April 7. While in some cities, towns, and municipalities there will be different local configurations, the electoral alliances in question will dominate the elections at the regional level. 

The former ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party currently governs in seven out of 16 regions, with the present ruling coalition parties hoping to reduce that to just three; some optimists believe that they could take power in 15 out of the 16 regions. 

According to opinion surveys, PiS is facing an uphill task in all but the three most eastern regions of the country.

Tusk’s desire for a single list did succeed back in the 2019 European parliamentary elections when the KO, PSL and the Left took 38.5 percent of the vote, losing to PiS, which managed 45.4 percent. It was that defeat that led the PSL to seek other alliances and meant that a joint list was not repeated in subsequent parliamentary elections.

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