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Urban voters punish Polish government

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Urban voters punish Polish government

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Poland’s conservative government has suffered a major setback in local elections but it is thought the shaky coalition will still hold. The Law and Justice Party, led by Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, whose brother Lech is the President, lost the race for Warsaw City Council and its candidate for mayor got fewer votes than forecast.

The party lost out in several major cities around the country, although it won in some and in rural areas generally. Despite the mixed outcome the leader of the opposition Civic Platform said the results were a great success for his party. A senior Law and Justice Minister conceded the strong showing of the opposition had surprised the government but said that it would not change direction.

Analysts say an outright defeat would have severely undermined the government, while a good result might have encouraged it to abandon the coalition and call an early general election. A second round of voting, which will give a definitive picture of the government’s standing, takes place on November 26.