2005 Polish parliamentary election

Parliamentary elections were held in Poland on 25 September 2005.[1] Thirty million voters were eligible to vote for all 460 members of the lower house, the Sejm and all 100 members of the upper house, the Senate.

2005 Polish parliamentary election

← 2001 25 September 2005 2007 →

All 460 seats in the Sejm
231 seats were needed for a majority in the Sejm
All 100 seats in the Senate
Turnout40.57%
  First party Second party Third party
  Jarosław Kaczyński Sejm 2016a (cropped).JPG Donald Tusk 3.jpg Andrzej Lepper in his office 2002 (2) (cropped).jpg
Leader Jarosław Kaczyński Donald Tusk Andrzej Lepper
Party PiS PO SRP
Leader since 18 January 2003 1 June 2003 10 January 1992
Leader's seat 19 – Warsaw I 25 – Gdansk 40 – Koszalin
Last election 44 seats, 9.5% 65 seats, 12.7% 53 seats, 10.2%
Seats won 155 133 56
Seat change Increase 111 Increase 68 Increase 3
Popular vote 3,185,714 2,849,269 1,347,355
Percentage 27.0% 24.1% 11.4%
Swing Increase 17.5% Increase 11.4% Increase 1.2%

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
  Wojciech olejniczak.jpg Waldemar Pawlak candidate 2010 D crop.jpg
Leader Wojciech Olejniczak Marek Kotlinowski Waldemar Pawlak
Party SLD LPR PSL
Leader since 29 May 2005 5 May 2001 29 January 2005
Leader's seat 11 – Sieradz 13 – Kraków II 16 – Płock
Last election 216 seats, 41% 38 seats, 7.9% 42 seats, 9%
Seats won 55 34 25
Seat change Decrease 161 Decrease 4 Decrease 17
Popular vote 1,335,257 940,762 821,656
Percentage 11.3% 8.0% 7.0%
Swing Decrease 29.7% Increase 0.1% Decrease 2%

2005 Polish parliamentary election - Results.svg
Seats won by Sejm District

Prime Minister before election

Marek Belka
SLD

New Prime Minister

Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz
PiS

The election resulted in a sweeping victory for two opposition parties: the right-wing, national-conservative Law and Justice (PiS) and the centre-right, liberal-conservative Civic Platform (PO). The incumbent centre-left government of the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) was soundly defeated. PiS won 155 seats and PO 133, while the governing SLD was reduced to fourth place with 55 seats, behind Andrzej Lepper's Self-Defence party, which won 56 seats.

Normally, this would have made PiS leader Jarosław Kaczyński Prime Minister. However, he declined the post so as not to prejudice his twin brother Lech's chances for the presidential election held later in October. In his place, Law and Justice nominated Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz for the post. Outgoing Prime Minister Marek Belka failed to win a seat in Łódź.

In the Senate, PiS won 49 seats and PO 34 of the 100 seats, leaving eight other parties with the remaining 17 seats. The SLD won no seats in the Senate.

BackgroundEdit

The 2005 Sejm was elected by proportional representation from multi-member constituencies, with seats divided among parties which gain more than five percent of the votes using the d'Hondt method. On the other hand, the Senate is elected under first-past-the-post bloc voting. This tends to cause the party or coalition which wins the elections to have a larger majority in the Senate than in the Sejm.

In the 2001 elections the SLD and UP won 216 of the 460 seats, and were able to form a government with the support of the Polish People's Party (PSL). The former ruling party, Solidarity Electoral Action (AWS) based on the Solidarity trade union, lost all its seats. In its place several new right-wing parties emerged, such as the PO and the PiS.

After 2003 a variety of factors combined to bring about a collapse of support for the government. Discontent with high unemployment, government spending cuts (especially on health, education and welfare), affairs related to privatizations was compounded by a series of corruption scandals, the most serious of them being Rywin-gate. Prime Minister Leszek Miller resigned in May 2004 and was succeeded by Marek Belka. All opinion polls suggested that the governing SLD-UP coalition would be heavily defeated at these elections and that the right-wing parties would win a large majority. With the expected downfall of the post-communists, the right-wing parties competed mainly against each other.

ContestantsEdit

The parties running in this election were mainly the same as in 2001, with the addition of Social Democracy of Poland (a splinter group from the Democratic Left Alliance), and the Democratic Party formed from the Freedom Union (UW) and some SLD dissidents. Both these new parties failed to win seats.

The BBC commented on election day: "The two centre-right parties are both rooted in the anti-communist Solidarity movement but differ on issues such as the budget and taxation. Law and Justice, whose agenda includes tax breaks and state aid for the poor, has pledged to uphold traditional family and Christian values. It is suspicious of economic liberalism. The Citizens Platform strongly promotes free market forces and wants to introduce a flat 15% rate for income tax, corporation tax and VAT. It also promises to move faster on deregulation and privatisation, in order to adopt the euro as soon as possible."

Opinion pollsEdit

ResultsEdit

 
Powiats won by
– Civic Platform
– Law and Justice
– Polish People's Party
– Democratic Left Alliance
– Self-Defense
– German Minority

Had the two leading parties been able to form a coalition as expected, it would have had 63 percent of seats in the Assembly, just short of the two-thirds supermajority required to carry out constitutional reform. The populist and isolationist Self-Defense of the Polish Republic (Samoobrona) slightly improved its representation and became the third largest party ahead of the SLD, which despite losing most of its seats performed slightly better than expected based on opinion polls. However, the party lost all its Senate seats. The League of Polish Families and the Polish People's Party retained their representation. The German minority in Poland is exempt from the requirement of achieving at least 5% of the total vote and retained their two seats.

SejmEdit

 
PartyVotes%Seats+/–
Law and Justice3,185,71426.99155+111
Civic Platform2,849,25924.14133+68
Self-Defence of the Republic of Poland1,347,35511.4156+3
Democratic Left Alliance1,335,25711.3155–161
League of Polish Families940,7627.9734–4
Polish People's Party821,6566.9625–17
Social Democracy of Poland459,3803.890New
Democratic Party289,2762.450New
Janusz Korwin-Mikke Platform185,8851.570New
Patriotic Movement124,0381.050New
Polish Labour Party91,2660.770New
German Minority Electoral Committee34,4690.2920
Polish National Party34,1270.290New
Ancestral Home32,8630.280New
Centre21,8930.190New
All-Poland Civic Coalition16,2510.140New
Party Initiative of the Republic of Poland11,9140.100New
Polish Confederation – Dignity and Work8,3530.070New
National Revival of Poland7,3760.060New
German Minority of Silesia5,5810.0500
Labour Party1,0190.010New
Social Rescuers9820.010New
Total11,804,676100.004600
Valid votes11,804,67696.40
Invalid/blank votes440,2273.60
Total votes12,244,903100.00
Registered voters/turnout30,229,03140.51
Source: Nohlen & Stöver

By constituencyEdit

Although PiS and PO were the clear winners, their vote was very unevenly distributed, being overwhelmingly concentrated in the cities, particularly Warsaw and the southern industrial areas around Kraków and Katowice, but also including Gdańsk, Gdynia, Poznań, Wrocław and Szczecin. The only urban centre not to endorse the right was Łódź. The two main parties failed to win a majority in any rural district except Rzeszów in the south. In seven rural districts they polled less the 40 percent of the vote, while in one (Chełm) they polled less than 35 percent. Self-Defence managed to win in four districts. The vote shows the continuing sharp divide in Polish politics between urban voters, who are generally more socially liberal and in favour of free-market economics, and rural voters, who are more socially conservative and economically left-wing.

Constituency Turnout PiS PO SRP SLD LPR PSL SDPL PD MN Others Lead
1 – Legnica 36.75 24.77 24.41 12.65 15.26 6.90 3.85 3.29 4.23 - 4.64 0.36
2 – Wałbrzych 35.74 22.21 25.93 13.25 13.86 7.25 6.51 5.29 1.71 - 3.99 3.72
3 – Wrocław 46.73 25.70 32.36 8.42 10.00 6.73 3.03 3.98 4.28 - 5.50 6.66
4 – Bydgoszcz 37.98 24.71 20.80 11.70 18.66 6.70 6.16 3.11 1.70 - 6.46 3.91
5 – Toruń 35.69 22.67 18.64 18.59 11.77 7.98 7.05 5.55 3.88 - 3.87 4.03
6 – Lublin 42.89 25.82 17.04 14.59 8.09 12.37 11.36 4.21 1.55 - 4.97 8.78
7 – Chełm 38.64 20.82 11.40 20.83 8.32 12.35 18.32 3.31 1.01 - 3.64 0.01
8 – Zielona Góra 35.44 22.84 24.21 11.41 16.18 7.63 7.85 3.51 1.99 - 4.38 1.37
9 – Łódź 43.62 24.63 24.30 8.63 14.12 7.64 2.13 5.72 6.04 - 6.79 0.33
10 – Piotrków Trybunalski 39.31 23.26 15.33 21.56 11.20 9.06 10.80 2.82 1.76 - 4.21 1.70
11 – Sieradz 38.10 21.38 15.04 21.87 14.86 6.64 12.21 2.62 1.63 - 3.75 0.49
12 – Chrzanów 42.11 34.88 21.86 8.51 8.58 11.48 6.05 3.43 1.77 - 3.44 13.02
13 – Kraków 47.34 37.29 30.56 5.05 7.96 5.70 3.13 3.56 2.86 - 3.89 6.73
14 – Nowy Sącz 45.07 37.17 21.92 8.48 6.00 12.69 8.02 1.22 1.53 - 2.97 15.25
15 – Tarnów 42.76 33.93 20.28 9.88 5.92 12.64 9.34 2.20 1.20 - 4.61 13.65
16 – Płock 36.01 24.20 14.41 17.84 11.94 6.94 15.83 2.93 1.75 - 4.16 6.36
17 – Radom 40.67 25.60 15.62 19.42 9.90 8.07 13.28 2.63 1.09 - 4.39 6.18
18 – Siedlce 41.69 25.46 12.62 18.80 7.27 11.75 16.35 1.87 1.05 - 4.83 6.66
19 – Warsaw I 56.05 29.93 33.07 2.34 11.53 5.85 0.94 6.50 4.91 - 4.93 3.14
20 – Warsaw II 44.71 32.95 28.09 7.34 7.17 7.34 5.46 2.98 2.38 - 6.29 4.86
21 – Opole 33.47 20.53 24.24 10.59 10.39 6.82 4.79 2.80 2.89 12.92 3.03 3.71
22 – Krosno 41.10 33.78 15.44 11.83 9.16 13.63 9.56 2.28 1.07 - 3.25 18.34
23 – Rzeszów 44.24 38.20 16.25 7.89 7.34 13.09 10.24 2.16 0.85 - 3.98 21.95
24 – Białystok 38.41 28.46 15.25 12.16 12.31 11.38 8.39 3.82 1.41 - 6.82 13.21
25 – Gdansk 44.01 25.75 39.90 6.73 9.04 5.61 2.73 3.85 2.20 - 4.19 14.15
26 – Gdynia 42.86 26.83 32.73 9.39 11.22 7.64 2.97 2.92 1.67 - 4.63 5.90
27 – Bielsko-Biała 44.40 35.71 26.55 6.60 9.26 7.90 3.41 3.99 2.91 - 3.67 9.16
28 – Częstochowa 38.62 27.68 24.78 13.73 10.67 6.09 5.70 4.74 2.11 - 4.50 2.90
29 – Gliwice 35.81 28.43 33.12 6.97 11.69 5.34 1.95 3.56 2.44 - 6.50 4.69
30 – Rybnik 39.81 31.33 31.67 7.64 11.65 7.01 2.50 2.56 1.65 - 3.99 0.34
31 – Katowice 41.04 31.33 34.38 5.18 10.51 4.97 1.29 4.62 3.38 - 4.34 3.05
32 – Sosnowiec 36.49 24.27 27.21 - 21.15 7.25 3.59 6.81 2.64 - 7.08 2.94
33 – Kielce 36.53 23.76 15.39 17.23 12.33 6.16 14.15 4.06 1.31 - 5.61 6.53
34 – Elbląg 34.40 21.85 23.48 17.68 12.03 5.58 9.01 3.56 3.09 - 3.72 1.63
35 – Olsztyn 34.54 22.59 24.08 11.80 14.28 7.79 9.44 3.09 2.97 - 3.96 1.49
36 – Kalisz 38.53 20.13 21.72 16.55 13.02 7.47 10.98 4.59 1.39 - 4.15 1.59
37 – Konin 38.27 19.69 18.78 20.70 13.07 6.28 10.19 4.36 1.62 - 5.31 1.10
38 – Piła 39.53 16.93 24.71 14.75 15.82 7.44 9.65 5.84 1.51 - 3.35 7.78
39 – Poznań 47.23 25.55 37.97 5.71 10.48 5.40 2.05 5.41 3.73 - 3.70 12.42
40 – Koszalin 35.57 20.33 21.76 22.78 13.87 4.61 5.25 4.72 3.74 - 2.94 1.02
41 – Szczecin 38.26 23.24 28.21 11.47 14.84 6.11 3.84 5.51 3.02 - 3.76 4.97
Poland 40.57 26.99 24.14 11.41 11.31 7.97 6.96 3.89 2.45 0.29 4.59 2.85

Seat distribution by constituencyEdit

Constituency PiS PO SRP SLD LPR PSL MN Sum
1 – Legnica 4 3 2 2 1 - - 12
2 – Wałbrzych 3 3 1 1 - - - 8
3 – Wrocław 5 6 1 1 1 - - 14
4 – Bydgoszcz 4 3 1 3 1 - - 12
5 – Toruń 3 3 3 2 1 1 - 13
6 – Lublin 5 3 2 1 2 2 - 15
7 – Chełm 3 1 3 1 2 2 - 12
8 – Zielona Góra 3 4 1 2 1 1 - 12
9 – Łódź 3 3 1 2 1 - - 10
10 – Piotrków Trybunalski 3 1 2 1 1 1 - 9
11 – Sieradz 3 2 3 2 1 1 - 12
12 – Chrzanów 4 2 - 1 1 - - 8
13 – Kraków 6 5 - 1 1 - - 13
14 – Nowy Sącz 4 2 1 - 1 1 - 9
15 – Tarnów 4 2 1 - 1 1 - 9
16 – Płock 3 2 2 1 - 2 - 10
17 – Radom 3 1 2 1 1 1 - 9
18 – Siedlce 4 2 2 1 1 2 - 12
19 – Warsaw I 7 8 - 3 1 - - 19
20 – Warsaw II 4 4 1 1 1 - - 11
21 – Opole 3 4 2 1 1 - 2 13
22 – Krosno 4 2 1 1 2 1 - 11
23 – Rzeszów 7 3 1 1 2 1 - 15
24 – Białystok 5 3 2 2 2 1 - 15
25 – Gdańsk 4 6 1 1 - - - 12
26 – Gdynia 4 6 1 2 1 - - 14
27 – Bielsko-Biała 4 3 - 1 1 - - 9
28 – Częstochowa 3 2 1 1 - - - 7
29 – Gliwice 4 4 1 1 - - - 10
30 – Rybnik 4 4 - 1 - - - 9
31 – Katowice 5 6 - 1 - - - 12
32 – Sosnowiec 3 3 - 2 1 - - 9
33 – Kielce 5 3 3 2 1 2 - 16
34 – Elbląg 2 2 2 1 - 1 - 8
35 – Olsztyn 3 3 1 1 1 1 - 10
36 – Kalisz 3 3 2 2 1 1 - 12
37 – Konin 2 2 3 1 - 1 - 9
38 – Piła 2 3 1 2 - 1 - 9
39 – Poznań 4 5 - 1 - - - 10
40 – Koszalin 2 2 3 1 - - - 8
41 – Szczecin 4 4 2 2 1 - - 13
Total 155 133 56 55 34 25 2 460

SenateEdit

 
PartyVotes%Seats+/–
Law and Justice5,020,70420.8049+49
Civic Platform4,090,49716.9434+32
Democratic Left Alliance3,114,11812.900–75
League of Polish Families2,990,09212.397+5
Self-Defence of the Republic of Poland2,016,8588.353+1
Polish People's Party1,413,8725.862–2
Democratic Party683,7992.830New
Social Democracy of Poland573,5562.380New
Janusz Korwin-Mikke Platform375,0371.550New
Centre246,1431.020New
Patriotic Movement234,0930.970New
Ancestral Home181,3370.750New
Polish National Party168,4130.700New
German Minority Electoral Committee88,8750.370
All-Poland Civic Coalition65,5610.270New
Party Initiative of the Republic of Poland45,7120.190New
Social Rescuers18,4390.080New
Polish Labour Party11,7650.050
Polish Confederation – Dignity and Work10,5280.040New
Local lists and independents2,792,57211.575+3
Total24,141,971100.001000
Valid votes11,812,96596.52
Invalid/blank votes426,0543.48
Total votes12,239,019100.00
Registered voters/turnout30,229,03140.49
Source: Nohlen & Stöver

AftermathEdit

Negotiations between PiS and PO about forming a government collapsed in late October, precipitated by disagreement regarding who would be speaker of the Sejm. On 1 November PiS announced a minority government headed by Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz as Prime Minister. The negotiations were affected by the 9 October presidential election where the PiS candidate Lech Kaczyński (the twin brother of PiS leader Jarosław Kaczyński) was elected; Jarosław Kaczyński had promised that he would not become the Prime Minister if his brother wins the election. The constitutional requirement to form a government within a set time period also heated up the coalition negotiations.

A major stumbling block in PiS-PO government negotiations was the latter's insistence on receiving the Interior portfolio, as to prevent one party from controlling all three of the "power" ministries (Security, Justice and Interior) that manage police and security services. The PO also opposed a "tactical alliance" between the PiS and the Self-Defense (Samoobrona) party, which shared eurosceptic and populist sentiments, although differing on economic policy. The election campaign, in which PiS and PO mainly competed against each other rather than parties to their left, accentuated differences and created an antagonistic relationship between the two parties.

The PiS minority government depended on the support of the radical Samoobrona party and the hard-right League of Polish Families (LPR) to govern, a situation that made many of those hoping for a PiS-PO coalition uneasy. On 5 May 2006 PiS formed a coalition government with Samoobrona and LPR.

In July 2006, Marcinkiewicz tendered his resignation following reports of a rift with PiS party leader Kaczyński. Kaczyński formed a new government and was sworn-in on 14 July as prime minister.

The SLD's severe defeat sent the party into a sharp decline from which it has never fully recovered; it lost all of its remaining seats in 2015 though it regained some ground in 2019 as part of Lewica.

The 2005 election proved to be a realigning election in polish politics, as Law and Justice and Civic Platform (and presidential candidates by them) have finished in top two of every election since.

Further readingEdit

  • Markowski, Radosław (September 2006). "The Polish elections of 2005: Pure chaos or a restructuring of the party system?". West European Politics. 29 (4): 814–832. doi:10.1080/01402380600842452.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Dieter Nohlen & Philip Stöver (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p1491 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7

External linksEdit