2001 Polish parliamentary election

The 2001 Polish parliamentary election was held on 23 September 2001 to elect deputies to both houses of the National Assembly.[1] The election concluded with an overwhelming victory for the centre-left Democratic Left Alliance – Labor Union, the electoral coalition between the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) and the Labour Union (UP), which captured 41% of the vote in the crucial lower house Sejm. The 2001 election is recognized as marking the emergence of both Civic Platform (PO) and Law and Justice (PiS) as players in Polish politics, while also witnessing the outright collapse of the Solidarity Electoral Action (AWS) and its former coalition partner, the Freedom Union (UW).

2001 Polish parliamentary election

← 1997 23 September 2001 2005 →

All 460 seats in the Sejm
231 seats were needed for a majority in the Sejm
All 100 seats in the Senate
Turnout46.29%
  First party Second party Third party
  MILLER Leszek.jpg Maciej Płażyński 2.jpg Andrzej Lepper in his office 2002 (2) (cropped).jpg
Leader Leszek Miller Maciej Płażyński Andrzej Lepper
Party SLD-UP PO SRP
Leader since 1 July 1997 24 January 2001 10 January 1992
Leader's seat 9 – Łódź 25 – Gdańsk 40 – Koszalin
Last election 164 seats, 34.1%* Did not exist 0 seats, 0.1%
Seats won 216 65 53
Seat change Increase 52 Increase 65 Increase 53
Popular vote 5,342,519 1,651,099 1,327,624
Percentage 41.0% 12.7% 10.2%
Swing Increase 6.9% Increase 12.7% Increase 10.1%

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
  Prezydent Lech Kaczyński 05.jpg Kalinowski, Jaroslaw-2504.jpg
Leader Lech Kaczyński Jarosław Kalinowski Marek Kotlinowski
Party PiS PSL LPR
Leader since 22 March 2001 11 October 1997 21 April 2001
Leader's seat 25 – Gdańsk 18 – Siedlce 13 – Kraków II
Last election Did not exist 27 seats, 7.3% Did not exist
Seats won 44 42 38
Seat change Increase 44 Increase 15 Increase 38
Popular vote 1,236,787 1,168,659 1,025,148
Percentage 9.5% 9.0% 7.9%
Swing Increase 9.5% Increase 1.7% Increase 7.9%

2001 Polish parliamentary election - Results.svg
Seats won by Sejm District

Prime Minister before election

Jerzy Buzek
AWS

New Prime Minister

Leszek Miller
SLD

Voter turnout for the 2001 election was 46.29%[2] For this election only, list seats were allocated using the Sainte-Laguë method instead of the D'Hondt method.

BackgroundEdit

At the end of its four-year term, the ruling AWS government of Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek faced bleak prospects for the September parliamentary election. In the previous presidential election in 2000, the SLD's Aleksander Kwaśniewski achieved a landslide reelection over AWS candidate Marian Krzaklewski. Economically, Polish consumer confidence dropped to its lowest since the mid-1990s, with unemployment rising above 16%.[3] Politically, the Buzek government faced a series of crises undermining its credibility. In May 2000, the AWS' junior coalition partner, the Freedom Union, walked out of the government regarding the party's objections to the slow pace of reform, forcing Buzek to set up a relatively weak minority government in its place.[4] Later in July 2001, Buzek's government was again hit by three further ministerial resignations over corruption charges, while the government's reform program for pensions and health care grounded to a halt in the Sejm.[3]

In light of Buzek's besieged administration, opposition parties took advantage of AWS' organisational and economic weaknesses. From the centre left, a political coalition between the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) and the Labour Union (UP), headed by Leszek Miller, appeared as the ruling government's most formidable, united and vocal opposition. On the centre right, Solidarity's traditional spectrum of support increasingly became divided by the emergence of new political groups. Civic Platform (PO), composed of former AWS and UW members, repeated calls for a low flat-rate income tax and a culling of bureaucracy to attract investment.[3] Further down the right, the Law and Justice party (PiS), composed of AWS' more conservative and anti-communist adherents, campaigned on promises of tough anti-corruption and organised crime legislation.[3]

The campaign leading up to the September election was marred by voter apathy due to the summer holidays, and was also marginalized by the September 11 attacks in the United States.[5]

Opinion pollsEdit

ResultsEdit

 
Powiats with party majority
– Democratic Left Alliance
– Polish People's Party
– Civic Platform
– Solidarity Electoral Action
– League of Polish Families
– German Minority
 
Results of the Sejm election, showing vote strength by electoral district. SLD won a plurality in all 41 constituencies.

The SLD triumphed in the final tally, receiving 41% percent of the vote, though shy of an outright parliamentary majority in the Sejm.[6] The party increased its representation by 52 seats, earning it 216 representatives, and returned to the Chancellery after a four-year period of sitting in opposition. Partly due to the fractious nature of its opponents, the SLD secured pluralities in all of Poland's voivodeships as well as in an overwhelming majority of the nation's powiats. On the centre right, Civic Platform entered parliament for the first time, coming in second place with nearly 13% of the vote.[6] The party stood relatively strong in Pomeranian Voivodeship.

Surprisingly, ultra-nationalist parties performed well in the election's final results. The left-wing nationalist Self-Defence of the Republic of Poland (SRP) increased its vote 100-fold from the 1997 election, securing 53 seats and 10% of the vote, coming in third place. Headed by populist Andrzej Lepper, the party campaigned against Warsaw excess and Poland's ongoing negotiations to enter the European Union.[7] On the far right, the League of Polish Families, which campaigned on a staunchly Catholic and anti-EU platform, also entered the Sejm for the first time, gaining 38 seats and 8% of the vote.[7]

Law and Justice (PiS), headed by Lech Kaczyński, a former Minister of Justice in the Buzek government, scored 44 seats and 9.5% of the vote, also securing his party's entrance into the Sejm for the first time. The Polish People's Party (PSL) won 42 seats, slightly reversing the party's devastating losses from 1997. The PSL would later enter into coalition with the SLD to achieve a parliamentary majority.

The election proved catastrophic for Solidarity Electoral Action and its former Freedom Union coalition partner. Both parties failed to secure the 8% for coalitions and 5% for standalone parties threshold to enter the Sejm, with AWS and UW falling to 5.6% and 3.1%, respectively.[6] In the election's aftermath, Prime Minister Buzek tendered his resignation. Both the AWS and UW faced political extinction following the election's aftermath. The AWS dissolved itself by the end of 2001; the UW lingered until its own dissolution in 2005.

SejmEdit

 
PartyVotes%Seats+/–
Democratic Left Alliance – Labour Union5,342,51941.04216+52
Civic Platform1,651,09912.6865New
Self-Defence of the Republic of Poland1,327,62410.2053+53
Law and Justice1,236,7879.5044New
Polish People's Party1,168,6598.9842+15
League of Polish Families1,025,1487.8738New
Solidarity Electoral Action729,2075.600–201
Freedom Union404,0743.100–60
Social Alternative Movement54,2660.420New
German Minority Electoral Committee47,2300.3620
Polish Socialist Party13,4590.100New
German Minority Upper Silesia8,0240.0600
Polish Economic Union7,1890.060New
Polska Wspólnota Narodowa2,6440.020New
Total13,017,929100.004600
Valid votes13,017,92996.01
Invalid/blank votes541,4833.99
Total votes13,559,412100.00
Registered voters/turnout29,364,45546.18
Source: Nohlen & Stöver
Popular vote
SLD-UP
41.04%
PO
12.68%
SRP
10.20%
PiS
9.50%
PSL
8.98%
LPR
7.87%
AWSP
5.60%
Others
9.73%
Parliament seats
SLD-UP
46.96%
PO
14.13%
SRP
11.51%
PiS
9.57%
PSL
9.13%
LPR
8.26%
MN
0.43%

Results in each constituencyEdit

Constituency Turnout SLD PO SRP PiS PSL LPR AWSP UW MN Others Lead
1 – Legnica 43.50 53.69 10.50 9.42 7.03 5.81 5.89 4.07 3.19 - 0.40 43.19
2 – Wałbrzych 43.89 52.68 11.74 10.91 4.67 5.48 6.48 4.24 3.27 - 0.55 40.94
3 – Wrocław 46.92 39.15 17.83 9.51 10.26 4.74 7.86 5.21 5.00 - 0.45 21.32
4 – Bydgoszcz 46.53 50.37 8.97 9.57 7.38 7.85 8.16 4.97 2.27 - 0.46 40.80
5 – Toruń 42.68 47.36 9.59 12.05 6.98 8.86 7.61 4.23 2.64 - 0.67 35.31
6 – Lublin 48.09 34.27 8.48 13.31 9.42 17.27 9.91 4.50 2.18 - 0.66 17.00
7 – Chełm 46.65 34.58 5.91 15.86 5.23 21.38 11.30 3.85 1.49 - 0.40 13.20
8 – Zielona Góra 42.58 51.54 9.81 9.60 5.66 7.49 5.44 5.99 3.36 - 1.10 41.73
9 – Łódź 48.54 52.19 12.10 6.69 9.88 2.35 7.34 5.70 3.22 - 0.52 40.09
10 – Piotrków Trybunalski 44.73 39.70 8.33 15.90 6.32 14.91 7.49 4.80 1.63 - 0.93 23.80
11 – Sieradz 46.17 41.05 7.84 17.76 5.77 13.87 7.51 3.85 1.59 - 0.75 23.29
12 – Chrzanów 48.27 35.24 14.09 8.38 9.87 9.30 11.54 8.16 2.84 - 0.57 21.15
13 – Kraków 50.50 33.67 18.15 6.89 16.03 5.11 9.66 4.39 5.84 - 0.25 15.52
14 – Nowy Sącz 47.95 23.32 19.13 7.98 11.68 10.86 11.44 12.80 2.04 - 0.75 4.19
15 – Tarnów 46.59 25.56 13.77 10.05 9.77 17.40 13.02 7.87 2.22 - 0.33 8.16
16 – Płock 42.11 41.21 7.70 13.04 7.48 17.04 5.67 5.27 1.98 - 0.61 24.17
17 – Radom 43.66 34.38 10.64 13.54 8.00 18.10 7.71 5.47 1.59 - 0.58 16.28
18 – Siedlce 45.65 30.06 7.60 14.19 8.42 22.95 9.67 4.94 1.60 - 0.56 7.11
19 – Warsaw I 56.11 36.77 18.87 3.05 21.57 1.62 7.12 4.02 6.58 - 0.40 15.20
20 – Warsaw II 45.15 30.76 16.05 8.26 18.12 8.95 9.38 4.90 3.15 - 0.45 12.64
21 – Opole 39.83 38.84 11.97 11.01 5.33 5.08 6.62 3.66 3.09 13.62 0.78 25.22
22 – Krosno 47.28 31.62 7.02 12.27 8.79 15.90 11.89 10.29 1.75 - 0.48 15.72
23 – Rzeszów 49.14 31.19 8.86 10.14 8.41 13.78 15.78 9.90 1.36 - 0.58 15.41
24 – Białystok 44.79 37.91 8.42 12.04 11.51 10.96 11.79 4.89 1.87 - 0.61 25.87
25 – Gdańsk 47.56 34.58 25.82 6.38 15.95 3.39 5.90 4.91 2.83 - 0.23 8.76
26 – Gdynia 47.32 36.46 24.92 9.21 9.30 4.96 7.87 4.27 2.69 - 0.32 11.54
27 – Bielsko-Biała 51.06 38.30 13.80 7.91 9.87 5.65 9.83 10.21 3.79 - 0.65 24.50
28 – Częstochowa 46.84 47.03 11.70 10.61 7.89 7.14 5.48 6.99 2.37 - 0.79 35.33
29 – Gliwice 39.26 44.39 13.62 6.09 9.81 3.01 5.48 8.44 5.33 - 3.84 30.77
30 – Rybnik 42.88 40.16 18.04 7.10 9.61 4.15 5.97 7.55 4.23 2.09 1.08 22.12
31 – Katowice 44.90 44.60 16.43 5.55 12.44 2.01 - 13.34 4.60 - 1.03 28.17
32 – Sosnowiec 48.53 62.40 8.45 6.84 6.66 3.86 3.97 4.23 2.71 - 0.86 53.95
33 – Kielce 44.17 45.08 7.16 12.81 6.73 15.07 6.24 3.68 1.80 - 1.41 30.01
34 – Elbląg 42.03 47.89 10.35 12.71 6.36 9.06 6.69 2.72 3.86 - 0.35 35.18
35 – Olsztyn 40.16 47.22 11.64 9.63 7.87 6.94 8.57 3.97 3.48 - 0.67 35.58
36 – Kalisz 49.99 47.31 10.16 12.77 4.06 12.00 7.49 3.75 1.93 - 0.54 34.54
37 – Konin 47.82 48.07 8.88 13.76 4.78 11.33 5.66 5.15 1.80 - 0.56 34.31
38 – Piła 49.12 48.34 10.47 11.74 4.62 10.55 6.64 4.55 2.68 - 0.43 36.60
39 – Poznań 52.27 41.99 20.29 5.08 12.81 2.98 7.22 4.26 4.97 - 0.49 21.70
40 – Koszalin 43.75 47.16 10.15 22.77 3.73 4.11 4.45 4.06 3.01 - 0.56 24.39
41 – Szczecin 43.40 50.58 12.56 10.24 8.28 3.75 5.77 4.24 4.26 - 0.32 38.02
Poland 46.29 41.04 12.68 10.20 9.50 8.98 7.87 5.60 3.10 0.36 0.66 28.36

Seat distribution in each constituencyEdit

Constituency SLD PO SRP PiS PSL LPR MN Sum
1 – Legnica 7 1 1 1 1 1 - 12
2 – Wałbrzych 6 1 1 - - 1 - 9
3 – Wrocław 6 3 1 2 1 1 - 14
4 – Bydgoszcz 7 1 1 1 1 1 - 12
5 – Toruń 7 1 2 1 1 1 - 13
6 – Lublin 5 1 2 2 3 2 - 15
7 – Chełm 5 1 2 - 3 1 - 12
8 – Zielona Góra 7 1 1 1 1 1 - 12
9 – Łódź 6 2 1 1 - 1 - 11
10 – Piotrków Trybunalski 4 1 2 - 1 1 - 9
11 – Sieradz 5 1 2 1 2 1 - 12
12 – Chrzanów 3 1 - 1 1 1 - 7
13 – Kraków 5 3 1 2 1 2 - 14
14 – Nowy Sącz 3 2 1 1 1 1 - 9
15 – Tarnów 2 1 1 1 2 1 - 8
16 – Płock 5 1 1 1 2 - - 10
17 – Radom 3 1 1 1 2 1 - 9
18 – Siedlce 4 1 2 1 3 1 - 12
19 – Warsaw I 8 4 - 5 - 2 - 19
20 – Warsaw II 3 2 1 2 1 1 - 10
21 – Opole 5 2 2 1 - 1 2 13
22 – Krosno 4 1 2 1 2 1 - 11
23 – Rzeszów 5 2 2 1 2 3 - 15
24 – Białystok 6 1 2 2 2 2 - 15
25 – Gdańsk 5 3 1 2 - 1 - 12
26 – Gdynia 6 4 1 1 1 1 - 14
27 – Bielsko-Biała 4 2 1 1 - 1 - 9
28 – Częstochowa 4 1 1 1 - - - 7
29 – Gliwice 6 2 1 1 - - - 10
30 – Rybnik 5 2 1 1 - - - 9
31 – Katowice 7 3 1 2 - - - 13
32 – Sosnowiec 7 1 1 - - - - 9
33 – Kielce 8 1 2 1 3 1 - 16
34 – Elbląg 5 1 1 - 1 - - 8
35 – Olsztyn 5 1 1 1 - 1 - 9
36 – Kalisz 6 1 2 - 2 1 - 12
37 – Konin 5 1 2 - 1 - - 9
38 – Piła 5 1 1 - 1 1 - 9
39 – Poznań 5 2 - 2 - 1 - 10
40 – Koszalin 5 1 2 - - - - 8
41 – Szczecin 7 2 2 1 - 1 - 13
Total 216 65 53 44 42 38 2 460

SenateEdit

 
PartyVotes%Seats+/–
Democratic Left Alliance – Labour Union10,476,67738.7475+47
Senate 20016,582,22424.3415
Polish People's Party3,631,23413.434+1
Self-Defence of the Republic of Poland1,158,8874.292
League of Polish Families1,097,0584.062New
Real Politics Union469,8151.7400
Local lists3,624,69713.402–3
Total27,040,592100.001000
Valid votes13,072,32396.46
Invalid/blank votes479,1793.54
Total votes13,551,502100.00
Registered voters/turnout29,364,45546.15
Source: Nohlen & Stöver

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Dieter Nohlen & Philip Stöver (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p1491 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ "Wybory do Sejmu: ogólne dane statystyczne". Wybory do Sejmu Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej i Senatu Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej, 23 września 2001. Państwowa Komisja Wyborcza. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d "The end of Solidarity". The Economist. 16 August 2001. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  4. ^ "Poland sets up minority government". BBC News. 6 June 2000. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  5. ^ Szczerbiak, Aleks (1 September 2002). "Poland's Unexpected Political Earthquake: The September 2001 Parliamentary Election". Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics. 18 (3): 41–76. doi:10.1080/714003608.
  6. ^ a b c "Left victorious in Poland". BBC News. 24 September 2001. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  7. ^ a b "The left is back—in the centre". The Economist. 27 September 2001. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  • Obwieszczenie Państwowej Komisji Wyborczej z dn. 26 IX 1997 r., Monitor Polski. Nr 109, poz. 1186
  • Obwieszczenie PKW z dn. 26 IX 2001 r., Dz.U. Nr 109, poz. 1187