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POLAND: Future of Kukiz'15

The prominence of the Kukiz’15 movement has steadily declined in this parliamentary term. It is certain that the maverick grouping which received nearly 9% of the votes in the 2015 election, cannot count on a similar result this October. Throughout the term, the movement lost prominent MPs and it was visible that the resolve of its founder Paweł Kukiz was wavering. In the European vote, the movement received 3,69% of the votes (below the electoral threshold). Now, Kukiz has entered coalition talks with the agrarian PSL, the Nonpartisan Local Government movement (Bezpartyjni Samorządowcy), and the politicians which ran as the Confederation in the European election.

Talks are dragging out and decisions are likely to be made next week – the running format of Kukiz’15 and PSL are the last major unknowns ahead of the parliamentary race. A coalition with PSL, however, would be problematic. Kukiz’15 has based most of its political presence on an anti-establishment narrative, while PSL has been a junior coalition partner in four governments. Running as a coalition would also mean that Kukiz’15 and PSL’s joint support would have to exceed the higher 8% electoral threshold – and PSL does not want to risk leaving the parliament. A joint start with the Nonpartisans is more likely but their movement fares much better in local elections, rather than general votes. In any case, this October Kukiz’15 will be fighting for political survival. If it crosses the 5% threshold, it is one of the most likely groupings to enter coalition talks with the ruling PiS party.