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POLAND: State of the Opposition

The future of the opposition, and especially potential changes to the European Coalition under the Civic Platform, are the main topics of political consideration after Sunday’s election. In any case, the Coalition is set to change its name again, possibly reverting to the Civic Coalition.

Many commentators who were rooting for the European Coalition blamed Robert Biedroń’s separate run as the reason for its defeat. Still, the Coalition would have lost even with Spring integrated into its structures. Following the election, Biedroń announced quite quickly that his party would run on its own again the parliamentary race. There are speculations, however, that talks on a joint list with the Coalition are likely in mid-June. Any potential agreement is mainly dependent on whether the agrarian PSL remains in the alliance. PSL’s leader Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz has been underlining for the past two days that its cooperation with the PO was only temporary; the party is like to leave the Coalition in the coming days.

The situation in the largest opposition party is uncertain. Many commentators called on Grzegorz Schetyna to call a leadership race. Internally, some PO politicians believe that the party should return to the centre-right and that the Coalition was a mistake. While a change of leadership ahead of the parliamentary election is unlikely, Schetyna is currently at his weakest. Immediately following the election he announced that new movements and parties would join the Coalition before autumn. That is far from certain and recent days have shown major disarray within the PO and their post-election narrative – the party was not prepared to lose by such a margin. Internal changes, especially to Schetyna’s closest circles, are likely in the coming days and weeks.