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Poland election: Tusk's opposition alliance secures majority

October 17, 2023

Official final results in Poland show three opposition parties that campaigned against the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party have a majority of seats. Combined, they could form a new, more pro-EU government.

Donald Tusk
The result was a huge victory for Donald Tusk, the head of the largest opposition group, Civic CoalitionImage: Czarek Sokolowski/AP/dpa/picture alliance

Final official results in Poland's election released on Tuesday confirm that the liberal, pro-EU, opposition alliance is on track to form the next government under former Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

The election outcome could herald a turning point in Polish foreign policy and a more pro-European course for the country.

How the numbers look 

Results from 100% of voting districts gave Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki's ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party the most votes of any single party in Sunday's national election, on 35.38%. However, that number still falls short of a majority. 

The liberal Civic Coalition (KO) was in second place with 30.70%, while the centre-right Third Way took third place with 14.40% and the New Left had 8.61% of the vote.

The three parties are expected to start talks on forming a coalition. PiS might first try to see if it can find a way to form a government, although this would appear unlikely to succeed.

The far-right Confederation, the only party likely to have been able to form a coalition with PiS, performed below expectation with just 7.16% of the vote.

The decision of who to first task with trying to form a government rests with President Andrzej Duda, who is close to PiS. 

Political observers in Poland speculate the president may give the first mandate to form the new government to a PiS politician, at least unless PiS decides it would rather not try, and quite probably fail.

Ahead of the vote, Duda had said he would give the first shot to the group or party that won the most ballots.

'Democracy at stake' in Polish elections, opposition says

What the result means for Poland

Having a liberal opposition in power would mean a seismic political shift in Poland, countering the PiS party's nationalist hardline  policies.

Issues such as Russia's invasion of neighboring Ukraine, migrants and women's rights dominated the campaign and more than 74% of voters went to the polls.

PiS has had a fraught relationship with the European Union, being in constant dispute with Brussels. 

Tusk has pledged to rebuild relations and unblock EU funds that were frozen due to an ongoing standoff over the rule of law in Poland. 

The 66-year-old was the prime minister of Poland between 2007 and 2014 and served as European Council president between 2014 and 2019. 

rc/wmr (AP, Reuters)