Poles go to the polls on Sunday – their second major vote inside six months.
Poland swing to the right in May’s presidential elections, as Andrzej Duda triumphed for the Law and Justice, unseating Bronislaw Komorowski.
This weekend the pro-European Civic Platform party (PO) will hope to stop favourites Law and Justice winning again.
What’s at stake?
Sunday’s election will see Poles choose representatives for both houses of parliament: 460 MPs and 100 senators.
Poland’s political landscape, which dates from the 2000s, is made up of two main right wing parties, Civic Platform (right-of-centre) and Law and Justice (conservative)
Civic Platform, in power for the last eight years, are in a deeply fragile state and risk losing out to the more conservative Law and Justice group, who, following their triumph in May’s presidential elections, are favourites to win again.
If such a scenario plays out on Sunday, it’ll mean Law and Justice will hold both executive and legislative power.
If Law and Justice do triumph it is likely to create fear with Poland’s European partners, who want to follow a path of further integration. At a national level, it is likely to spell a return to social Conservatism and authoritative populism.
How does Poland’s electoral system work?
The seats in Poland’s lower house of parliament are filled by proportional representation, for parties that have won at least five percent of votes. Coalitions have to get at least eight percent of the vote.
There 41 electoral districts across Poland. Each district has between seven and 19 seats, depending on its size.
The senate’s 100 members, meanwhile, are elected more directly. The seats have been attributed, since 2011, using the majority voting system.
What are Poland’s political parties?
Law and Justice (PiS), the conservative, eurosceptic party, which promises a bigger role for the state in the economy and a lowering of the retirement age.
The right-of-centre Civic Platform (PO) plans to introduce a minimum hourly wage and curb temporary employment contracts.
Polish People’s Party (PSL) wants to promote entrepreneurship in agriculture and extend financial support to Polish firms. Usually open to forming coalitions with left- or right-leaning parties as long as preferential treatment for farmers is kept.
United Left would like to increase Poland’s minimum wage by over 40 percent, impose a corresponding minimum hourly wage, ban unpaid internships and reduce the retirement age by tying it to number of years worked.
KORWiN wants to limit the influence of the EU in Poland, remove state influence from the economy, disband public education and healthcare.