Podcast: Problems Passing on the Torch
12 October 2021
The presidential election showed that Poland is a differentiated rather than a divided country.
Visegrad Insight organised a breakfast discussion on the Polish presidential election results, the voting behaviour, and the future political dynamics. This event took place on Tuesday 14 July 2020.
Speakers at the discussion:
Geographically & in terms of electoral patterns, #Poland is differentiated rather than a divided country. A great @VisegradInsight Transatlantic Breakfast discussion with @wprzybylski @BDStanley & distinguished audience.
— Visegrad Insight (@VisegradInsight) July 14, 2020
The discussion was moderated by Wojciech Przybylski. The Q&A session proceeded both live and via chat.
The stakes were rising as Poland and the Poles faced the second-round vote of the presidential election. On 12 July, more than 20.5 million votes were cast by just over 30 million registered citizens.
Many observers claimed that the result of this neck-to-neck race is a turning point for Poland and its role in Europe. In the end, the incumbent president Andrzej Duda took the victory by winning 51.3 per cent of the votes.
At the meeting, Wojciech Przybylski stated that Poland closed a two-year electoral period with this election, having in mind the parliamentary, local, and European elections which took place in this time span. Duda’s victory allows Law and Justice to fulfil its political project of capturing media and the judiciary.
However, it remains a question if the party will proceed in this direction. On the other hand, the country remains mobilised after the election, as the 10 million votes for Trzaskowski can be treated as a vote in an anti-PiS referendum.
Ben Stanley argued that geographically and in terms of electoral patterns, Poland is differentiated rather than a divided country. This claim goes again the assumption that the votes for the two candidates were distributed across a west-east divide of the country.
Watch the full debate below: