To see individual profiles of each of the main parties competing in the election, scroll halfway down the page or click here. But first, a briefing on some of the main issues that are at stake.
On 25 October Poles will go to the polls in what promises to be one of the most important and interesting elections since the return of democracy 25 years ago. In particular, it may help answer three questions, argues Daniel Tilles. First, whether the older generation of leaders, who have dominated politics since the fall of communism, are being pushed aside by a younger wave of politicians. Second, whether Poland will continue its evolution away from the multi-party turmoil that characterised much the post-1989 period, and towards a stable two-party system. And third, to what extent the Polish electorate has rejected the pro-European economic and social liberalism of the incumbent government, and instead turned to the more inward-looking national conservatism of the opposition. Given Poland’s growing economic and diplomatic clout, these are questions that all of Europe should take an interest in.
By Daniel Tilles and Stanley Bill
Over the next two months, Poland will have one (and possibly two) national referendums and is likely to see a change of government. So why have some of the biggest issues involved – Poland’s electoral system, its constitution and the role of religion in public life – been subject to so little public debate?
The Poland that emerges at the end of 2015 is likely to be a very different country from the one that entered it. Already, the incumbent president, Bronisław Komorowski, who started the year with a 40-point lead over his rivals, has been dramatically voted out of office, replaced by his conservative opponent, Andrzej Duda. Now, the new president’s former party, the opposition Law and Justice (PiS), appears to be heading for a landslide victory in October’s parliamentary elections. In the meantime, one (and possibly two) national referendums will ask the Polish public to give their opinion on a range of important, from the funding of political parties to the retirement age.
Yet, despite these potentially momentous changes, there has been surprisingly little discussion among politicians, the media, and certainly the general public about many of the key issues involved.