Long Read: 15th October – Poland’s Comeback

A turning point in Polish politics - to what extent can progressives be optimistic about the defeat of the Law and Justice (PiS) party?

The recent general election in Poland marked a critical juncture in both the country’s and the EU’s political landscape. The central question revolved around the continuity of a Law and Justice (PiS) government for another four years, prompting widespread concern about the potential intensification of their right-wing agenda. As the election unfolded, it became clear that there was no middle ground – it was either a path deeper into populist chaos or the chance for change.

Despite the many controversies that played out over the course of its two legislative periods, PiS maintained a strong connection with its electorate, built on a narrative of national pride and entitlement rights, positioning themselves as champions of Polish sovereignty.

In a historic election day, PiS was defeated, falling short of securing a large enough majority to form a government, and setting the stage for a new political landscape. 

The opposition’s joint ambition to remove PiS from power has been achieved – and now they embark on the challenging task of forming a coalition and steering Poland back toward the path of democracy and development.

Despite optimism about a new chapter in Polish politics, the consolidated support for PiS suggests a polarised nation that demands careful navigation, a responsibility that will weigh heavy on the minds of those at the negotiation table.