Local government elections in Poland today
Poland goes to the polls today to elect around 47,000 local councillors and around 2,700 village, town and city mayors. There are about 39,000 municipal, just over 6,000 county and more than 550 Voivodeship (provincial assembly) council seats being contested.
In the 2010 elections the ruling centre-right Civic Platform (PO) won the majority of seats but until early September were trailing their main opposition rivals, the right-wing Law and Justice Party (PiS) in this election. However, the departure of Prime Minister Donald Tusk to a European Union role and the selection of Ewa Kopacz as the new Prime Minister has renewed Civic Platform’s fortunes.
The latest opinion polls suggest that Civic Platform will get around 39% of the vote in Poland’s 17 provincial assemblies, about the same as in 2010, whilst the Law and Justice Party will get around 36%, up from 25% in 2010.
Countrywide, across all councils, where local committees do well, especially in the municipal councils, Civic Platform is on 33% and the Law and Justice Party on 29%.
The polls were taken just before the Law and Justice Party was embroiled in a funding scandal in which it expelled three of its parliamentarians from the party earlier this week. It is unclear how significant the scandal will be on local voting.
The centre-right Polish People’s Party (PSL), the junior coalition partner of Civic Platform is expected to get around 15% of the vote and the centre-left Democratic Left Alliance might get as much as 10%.
Civic Platform is expected to retain control of Warsaw, Gdansk, Lodz, Katowice, Poznan and Lublin whilst the PiS will be the biggest party in Bialystok, Radom and Plock. Independents will probably take Krakow, Gdynia, Rzeszow, Torun and Kielce.
A second round will be held where no candidate received more than 50% of the vote.
Polling stations open at 7 a.m. and close at 9 p.m. local time.