1. The electoral system is the same for the national parliamentary elections, i.e., proportional representation combined with majority constituency voting. The local electoral committees in constituencies set up their own candidates list, and determine its order, but the total electoral result nationwide determines that those candidates and the list will actually be elected to get the most votes, in accordance with the individual candidates marked by the voters; this choice actually determines the order of the list.
A 5% threshold applies.
Nine lists were entered nationwide, of which five won seats in the European Parliament. One of these lists was not previously represented in the national parliament. Of the parties represented in the national parliament, three failed to achieve the 5% threshold.
2. In the autumn of 2015, both parliamentary and presidential elections will be held in Poland. As a result, these elections for the European Parliament were welcome test of strength for all parties. The result was that real European issues were of relatively low importance in determining voters choices. The first reactions of all top politicians also referred to the domestic significance of the results. Those who were satisfied with the goals achieved saw themselves as confirmed, while those who failed to do so accepted the message the voters had sent them.
3. In addition to the domestic political constellation, the only major issue of importance to voters was the conflict in the Ukraine. Since public opinion in Poland is much less divided on this matter than in other EU countries, such as in Germany, the influence of the domestic situation could not be determined by this issue. Indeed, the governing coalition probably profited the most from the Ukrainian issue.
The death of former Communist President Wojciech Jaruzelski was the issue addressed by many top politicians on election night.
4. Electoral results
Electoral participation was 23% (2% less than 2009). Participation in national elections is around 50%.
- PiS (National conservative): 32.3% / 19 seats
- PO (liberal-conservative): 31.3% / 19 seats
- SLD-UP (left-democratic): 9.5% / 5 seats
- PSL (peasants party): 7.2% / 4 seats
- New Right (right-liberal): 7% / 4 seats
- Polish Solidarity (right-conservative): 4% / 0 seats
- Europa Plus (Palikot): 3.5% / 0 seats
- Common Poland (conservative): 3% / 0 seats
- RN (right-radical): 1.5% / 0 seats
The Polish media stresses that the race between the governing coalition, consisting of the PLO and the PSL, and the national conservatives of the PiS, is once again open. The splintering of the two major parties, which are represented in Parliament, was unsuccessful, so in this respect, the power of party loyalty was once again emphasized; this occurred both with the PiS under Jarosław Kaczyński and with the PO under Donald Tusk. This is the most important indicator for next year’s election.
It should also be noted that the right-wing nationalists’ movement (RN), which models itself on the Hungarian neo-fascist party Jobbik, and is specifically oriented toward young people, and achieved very poor results, compared with its own expectation.
5. From the left perspective, the failure of the left-liberal list Europe Plus/Twój Ruch is notable. The list was set up by Janusz Palikot; restarting it gained 10% in the parliamentary election of 2011 and former president Aleksander Kwaśniewski, and resulted in several prominent personalities. This outcome is a severe setback for Palikot in his struggle with the left-democrats of the SLD.
The SLD formed a list together with the UP (Union of Labor), primarily to allow Adam Gierek to run; with almost 10%, they won a relatively good result. The party/list will send experienced representatives and politicians to the European Parliament: Adam Gierek, Janusz Zemke, Lidia Geringer de Oedenberg, Krystyna Łybacka, and Bogusław Liberadzki.