Polish opposition leader Donald Tusk (ex prime minister and president of the European Council) is set to return as leader after last Sunday’s elections.
But it could take a few weeks.
The ruling, right-leaning Law & Justice party actually won the most votes (~36%), so it’ll technically have the first shot at forming a government.
But it’s the second-placed Tusk and his centrist Civic Coalition of parties who actually have the numbers in parliament to form a government.
A Civic Coalition government would mark a pretty significant shift:
- 🇪🇺 Warsaw has long criticised the EU and bristled at its accusations of democratic backsliding. But Tusk, well-known in Brussels, is pledging a new approach that could unlock billions in frozen EU aid
- 🇭🇺 Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is set to lose a fellow EU sceptic who frequently joined efforts to stymie EU resolutions, and
- 🇺🇦 Ukraine will now breathe a sigh of relief after Poland’s significant aid to its war-torn neighbour emerged as a thorny campaign issue.
This election saw a broad spectrum of parties offering some starkly different visions for Poland. So things often got heated, driving more folks to the polls (74%) than the 63% who turned out to topple communism in 1989.
Intrigue’s take: Zooming out, it’s not easy to place Poland’s election neatly within broader regional trends: for example, voters in Italy, Greece and Finland have all recently moved towards the right.
But Poland’s results do confirm another trend: out of the eleven European elections this year, the incumbent party has suffered real setbacks in six.
And to us, this suggests governments of every shape are struggling with a formidable in-tray right now, and voters are holding them accountable.
Also worth noting: