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POLAND: Civic Coalition begins campaign

On Friday, Grzegorz Schetyna announced the final formation of the main opposition coalition, which will be spearheaded by his Civic Platform party. The delay caused by cross-party negotiations means that the Civic Coalition is yet to present its candidates. These are supposed to be announced later this week. On Saturday the Civic Coalition began its anticipated campaign tour of Poland. Representatives of the main opposition bloc plan to visit all regions of the country. They will priorities regions where the worst results have been recorded during the previous local and European elections. Resultantly, the Subcarpathian voivodeship was chosen as the first stop of the tour.

Commentators have pointed out that during the previous election campaigns, the Civic Platform and its coalition partners remained distant to rural voters. This was considered one of the main reasons for the opposition’s failure. The PO will focus on direct voter engagement in the countryside where exchanges could prove challenging. Here Schetyna’s party will utilize the experience of MP Bartosz Arłukowicz who led the most successful direct engagement campaign in the European election. For Law and Justice, this campaign will also be different. Jarosław Kaczyński’s party has now solidified its support in rural communities and it will attempt to also engage with PO’s main base – urban voters. Still, the specific methods which PiS will use to engage voters in cities is yet unknown.