Poland’s ruling conservatives have had mixed fortunes in local elections, but look as though they have avoided the worst and will be strong enough to continue governing. Their vote was down in Warsaw and several other cities, but the rural vote held up well, and now the battle will be on for the second round of voting on November the 26th. Warsaw appears lost to the opposition, but it has been unable to galvanise voters to seriously trouble the government. However a key coalition ally, the ultra-right Family League did badly nationwide with scores of just two or three percent.
The election is important because these officials are the ones who will spend the billions of euros set to flow into the new EU member to renew its infrastructure. 30 million people are eligible to vote, and turnout is forecast to be between 30 and 40 percent.
The coalition government, in power for a year, has been riven by infighting. Neither weakened by the poll, nor strengthened enough to call an early election, few people are forecasting any big changes once the final results are in.