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POLAND: Parliamentary Elections sooner than later

The ruling PiS party will look to set the earliest possible date for the autumn parliamentary election. Legally, the parliamentary election has to take place on a Sunday between 12 October and 12 November. This means that the vote could take place on 13 October at the earliest. Formally, it will be President Andrzej Duda who sets the date of the election – no later than 13 August. Commentators argue that the PiS leadership is opting for a shortest possible campaign, so as to give less time for the opposition to regroup. An election in mid-October would also coincide with the first payouts from the modified 500+ family support programme which, as PiS is hoping, will further boost support.

If the results of the European elections were directly transposed to seats in the Polish parliament, PiS would increase its standing from 238 to 253 MPs and maintain its ability to govern without a coalition partner. Still, the ruling party would not achieve a majority which allows for changes to the Constitution – for this, a 2/3 majority is required which translates to 307 seats. The European Coalition would have 197 seats, which is also an improvement from the current 179 seats occupied by the PO, PSL, Modern, and Now parties. Robert Biedroń’s Spring would receive 9 seats. This, of course, is only hypothetical as the Coalition is not likely to survive in its current form and it is likely that more than three parties will pass the electoral threshold in October.