According to the just-announced official final election results, PiS has won an absolute majority of seats, unprecedented in Poland’s post-communist electoral history. This will allow the party to rule without a coalition partner. PiS’s majority is the result of several factors, including a well-executed campaign, a strong desire for change among Poles, and a lacklustre performance by PO. Electoral dynamics, particularly the United Left’s failure to cross the electoral threshold, and competition between PO and Modern Poland, also played a key role in ensuring PiS’s majority.
PiS will enjoy absolute majorities in both houses of parliament – Sejm and Senate – and the support of President Andrzej Duda. The party will enjoy untrammelled freedom to implement its political programmes, but will also prevent it from spreading responsibility and blaming an uncooperative Senate, Presidency, or coalition partner. While party figures are still discussing appointments and strategy, the next four years will certainly mark a period of inter-institutional agreement and stability.
Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz is expected to resign during a parliamentary session on November 10th, 2015. Following this, President Andrzej Duda will invite a member of PiS, most likely Beata Szydło, to act as Prime Minister and form a government.
PiS had already submitted key legal drafts for several tax reforms, including corporate tax, VAT, a financial transaction tax, and a tax on large supermarkets prior to the elections. Since the party hopes to implement those proposals from January 1st, 2016, they must be passed into law by the end of November 2015. Szydło additionally pledged to pass key electoral promises, such as free medicines for those over the age of 75, a minimum wage of 12 PLN per hour, and support funds for families with multiple children into law during her first hundred days in office.
Jarosław Gowin, seen as the most likely candidate for Defence Minister in the PiS government, admitted in a radio interview that many PiS reforms, such as the lowering of the retirement age will be contingent on the budget. In the days following the election, Gowin also suggested that the budget that the new PiS government will inherit is in a dire state. He argued that reforms must be introduced gradually, as finances permit, but that ‘supporting young families is an absolute priority’. The allusions to finances also explain PiS’s willingness to swiftly pass new laws on taxes, which will be used to pay for its reforms.
Download the full report below, which includes analysis on the decline of PO as a political force and the emergence of new political players.