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List of political parties in Poland

This article lists current political parties in Poland, as well as former parties dating back as far as 1918. Since 1989, Poland has had a multi-party system, with numerous competing political parties. Individual parties normally do not manage to gain power alone, and usually work with other parties to form coalition governments.

The transition from a mono-party Communist regime to liberal democracy and pluralism resulted in new political parties mushrooming in the early 1990s. After the first free parliamentary elections in 1991 seats in the Sejm were divided among more than a dozen different parties (amongst them such curiosities as the Polish Beer-Lovers' Party (Polska Partia Przyjaciół Piwa), led by a popular comedy actor, Janusz Rewiński). The existence of so many parties in the Sejm was seen by many as being counterproductive to the effectiveness of the parliament and a hindrance towards producing stable governments. Consequently, electoral reform was undertaken and an electoral threshold for the Lower House was instituted prior to the 1993 elections. The set threshold required a minimum vote of 5% for parties (with exemptions for ethnic minority parties) and 8% for electoral coalitions. The threshold was set at the national, rather than divisional, level, and had the effect of preventing a large number of minor parties from winning seats in later elections. The threshold also prevented independent candidates from gaining election to the Sejm. Since 1990, the left side of the political scene has generally been dominated by former Communists turned social democrats. The right has largely comprised (former) Solidarity activists and supporters, but experienced deep divisions from the beginning, and showed less cohesiveness than the left. The right were unable to create a single bloc which could act as a lasting counterweight to the left-wing monolith, but instead, kept merging, splitting and renaming. Even so, the parties of the right did manage to win government again from 1997-2001 (having initially governed from 1989–93).

Since the parliamentary elections of 2005, the right-wing parties have dominated the political scene, and appear to be in their strongest position to date. Two important developments in the political landscape have taken place since 2005. Firstly, the SLD (Communist successor) party is no longer the major, or one of the two major parties. Secondly, the main political battleground is no longer between the ex-Solidarity right versus the ex-Communist left. The new competing groupings are those of the Law and Justice party (promoting nationalistic and conservative social policies) and the Civic Platform (representing a more conservative-liberal position). The general public disapproval of politics and politicians as a whole has resulted in almost all major parties excluding the very word "party" from their names, replacing it with words less associated with politics, such as "union", "platform", "league" or "alliance".

Contents

Parliamentary partiesEdit

Logo Party Leader Ideology European affiliation Representation Comments
Sejm Senat EP
Law and Justice
Prawo i Sprawiedliwość
PiS Jarosław Kaczyński National conservatism
Christian democracy
Solidarism
ACRE 218 59 24 Party was founded in 2001 by the Kaczyński twins, Lech and Jarosław. It was formed from part of the Solidarity Electoral Action (AWS), with the Centre Agreement forming the new party's core. Along with PO, one of the two major parties since 2005, first entering the Sejm in 2001. It was the leading party in government from 2005–2007 and again from 2015-present. It started as centre-right party, but shifted more to the right-wing later.
Civic Platform
Platforma Obywatelska
PO Grzegorz Schetyna Catch-all
Centrism
Liberalism
EPP 137 29 14 One of the two major parties on the Polish political scene since 2005, PO first entered the Sejm in 2001. Leading party in government from 2007-2015. Used to be liberal-conservative, but in the course of time, became catch-all party with right and left wings.
  Kukiz'15
Kukiz'15
K'15 Paweł Kukiz Anti-establishment
Populism
Direct democracy
25 0 0 Political movement led by punk rock musician turned politician Paweł Kukiz. It is an association and not registered as a political party. It was founded after Kukiz stood in the 2015 presidential election, winning 21% of the vote and coming in third during the election's first round. The primary issue of movement is the replacement of Poland's proportional representation electoral system with single member constituencies.
  Polish People's Party
Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe
PSL Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz Agrarianism
Christian democracy
Centrism
EPP 15 1 3 Rural party represented in the Sejm since its inception. Support levels for them have been more stable than for any other Polish political party since 1989. It normally scores 7–9% of the popular vote, and achieved its best result at the 1993 legislative elections, where it polled over 15%.
  Modern
Nowoczesna
.N Katarzyna Lubnauer Liberalism
Economic liberalism
Social progressivism
ALDE 14 0 0 Party founded in late May 2015 by the former World Bank economist Ryszard Petru, who left it in 2018. Cooperated with Civic Platform as part of Civic Coalition and European Coalition.
  Agreement
Porozumienie
Jarosław Gowin Liberal conservatism
Economic liberalism
Republicanism
12 5 1 Party founded in November 2017 by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Science and Higher Education Jarosław Gowin as an expansion of his previous party, Poland Together. It is allied with Law and Justice, as part of the United Right coalition. Its MPs and Senators sit in the PiS parliamentary club.
  United Poland
Solidarna Polska
SP Zbigniew Ziobro Solidarism
National conservatism
Social conservatism
7 2 2 Party was founded in 2012 by PiS MEP Zbigniew Ziobro, who led the party's Catholic-nationalist faction. Similarly to Agreement, it is allied with Law and Justice, as part of the United Right coalition. Its MPs and Senators sit in the PiS parliamentary club.
  Union of European Democrats
Unia Europejskich Demokratów
UED Elżbieta Bińczycka Liberalism
Social liberalism
Centrism
ALDE 4 0 0 Party founded by former Democratic Party – demokraci.pl members and former members of parliament from Civic Platform. The name refers to the tradition of the Democratic Union and the Freedom Union, of which it is the successor.
  Free and Solidary
Wolni i Solidarni
WiS Kornel Morawiecki Solidarism
State interventionism
Anti-communism
3 0 0 Party led by Kornel Morawiecki, the Senior Marshal of the Sejm. MPs of the party were elected from the lists of Kukiz'15. Formerly declared support for Prime Minister Beata Szydło and her government, but later moved into opposition to the government of Mateusz Morawiecki.
  Now!
Teraz!
T! Ryszard Petru Economic liberalism
Neoliberalism
Social progressivism
ALDE 3 0 0 Party was founded on 17 November 2018 by Ryszard Petru and Joanna Scheuring-Wielgus as a split from the Modern party which Petru was also a founder. His partner Joanna Schmidt, the vice-president of ALDE also defected.
Liberty
Wolność
Janusz Korwin-Mikke Paleolibertarianism
Laissez-faire
Anti-socialism
IALP 2 0 0 Party established in 2015 by Janusz Korwin-Mikke as a result of his removal from his former party, Congress of the New Right. Until October 2016 and since December 2018, the party is also known as Coalition for the Renewal of the Republic – Liberty and Hope. The party's Polish name is a backronym of the founder's name (KORWiN).
Republican Party
Partia Republikańska
Anna Siarkowska Republicanism
Conservative liberalism
National liberalism
2 0 0 In 2017, the leaders of the Republican Foundation and MPs Anna Siarkowska and Małgorzata Janowska (elected from Kukiz'15) established the Republican Party, which is the political representation of the Foundation. The MPs joined the parliamentary club of the Law and Justice (with which party has been cooperating since the beginning).
  Right Wing of the Republic
Prawica Rzeczypospolitej
PR Krzysztof Kawęcki Political Catholicism
Social conservatism
Ordoliberalism
ECPM 1 0 0 Party founded by former Marshal of the Sejm Marek Jurek on 20 April 2007 after he had left Law and Justice on 16 April 2007, when the Sejm failed to pass a constitutional amendment protecting prenatal life. It positions itself as a Christian conservative party with a strong focus on family rights and a pro-life stance.
  German Minority
Mniejszość Niemiecka
MN Ryszard Galla German minority interests
Regionalism
1 0 0 German Minority Electoral Committee are representatives of the German minority in the Sejm. Candidates of the German minority are proposed by the Social-Cultural Association of Germans in Silesian Opole and the Social-Cultural Association of Germans in Silesian Voivodeship.
National Movement
Ruch Narodowy
RN Robert Winnicki Polish nationalism
Anti-immigration
Souverainism
1 0 0 Party formed as an electoral alliance of right-wing and far-right nationalist political movements, which have signed an ideological agreement, including nationalists from National Radical Camp and the All-Polish Youth, Real Politics Union, the only political party taking part in the agreement. It was established after the Polish Independence March in 2012.
  Real Politics Union
Unia Polityki Realnej
UPR Bartosz Józwiak National liberalism
National conservatism
Economic liberalism
1 0 0 Created as libertarian conservative party in 1987, became more nationalist after its most prominent politician Janusz Korwin-Mikke left it in 2009. UPR cooperated with National Movement in the European Parliament election in 2014, local elections in 2014 and the presidential election in 2015. In the parliamentary election in 2015, the whole National Movement stand for the Sejm from the lists of Kukiz'15.
The White and Reds
Biało-Czerwoni
BC Aleksandra Popławska Social democracy
Social liberalism
Anti-clericalism
0 1 0 Small party founded in 2015 by former activists of Your Movement and Democratic Left Alliance. Its only senator Grzegorz Napieralski took part in 2015 parliamentary elections as a candidate of Civic Platform.
  Democratic Left Alliance
Sojusz Lewicy Demokratycznej
SLD Włodzimierz Czarzasty Social democracy
Social liberalism
Third way
PES 0 0 5 The largest left-wing party on the political scene. SLD was the major party of government from 1993–1997 and 2001–2005. Since 2005, its dominance has been successfully challenged by PO and PiS. In the 2015 parliamentary election United Left received 7.6% of the vote, below the 8% threshold (electoral alliances must win at least 8% of the vote, as opposed to the 5% for individual parties), leaving SLD without parliamentary representation for the first time.
  Spring
Wiosna
WRB Robert Biedroń Anti-clericalism
Progressivism
Social democracy
PES 0 0 3 Party founded in 2019 by former MP and mayor of Słupsk, Robert Biedroń. It won 3 seats in 2019 European Parliament elections.

List of partiesEdit

Major partiesEdit

Middling partiesEdit

  • Modern (.N) - Liberal party, founded in late May 2015 by the economist Ryszard Petru
  • Polish People's Party (PSL) – Agrarian party, founded in 1990, PSL has been represented in the Sejm since its inception. Support levels for PSL have been more stable than for any other Polish political party since 1989. PSL normally scores 7–9% of the popular vote, and achieved its best result at the 1993 legislative elections, where it polled over 15%. Member of the European People's Party.
  • United Poland (SP) – Right-wing and Eurosceptic party which split from PiS, following the expulsion of Zbigniew Ziobro and his factional allies from the party, following the 2011 parliamentary elections.
  • Agreement (Porozumienie) – Centre-right and conservative liberal Polish political party, founded in 4 November 2018 by vice-premier and Ministry of Science and Higher Education Jarosław Gowin.
  • Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) – The largest centre-left party (a coalition of parties until 1999) on the political scene, SLD was the major party of government from 1993–1997 and 2001–2005. Since 2005, SLD's dominance has been successfully challenged by PO and PiS. Member of the Party of European Socialists.

Minor partiesEdit

Other partiesEdit

All political parties and organizations since 1989Edit

This is a list of political organizations registered in Poland as political parties, societies, foundations, trade unions, electoral committees, electoral alliances and informal groups:

Defunct parties or coalitions, since 1989Edit

  • Solidarity Electoral Action (AWS) – Coalition grouping in Poland, AWS was the political arm of the Solidarity trade union movement, and dominated government from 1997–2001. Suffered a severe defeat at 2001 legislative elections, after which it failed to win any parliamentary seats. The grouping was disbanded shortly thereafter.
  • Democratic Union (UD)/Freedom Union (UW) – The UD was one of the leading post-Solidarity groupings, and was formed in 1990. It merged with the Liberal Democratic Congress to form the UW in 1994. The UW lost all its seats in the Sejm at the 2001 elections. It reinvented itself as the Democratic Party in 2005.
  • Social Democracy of the Republic of Poland (SdRP) – founded in 1990 as the successor of the Polish United Workers' Party, was succeeded itself by the Democratic Left Alliance upon its establishment as a single political party in 1999.
  • Self-Defence of the Republic of Poland (Samoobrona) – A major but controversial agrarian party which first won election to the Sejm in 2001. Samoobrona participated in a coalition government dominated by PiS, 2006–2007. Samoobrona lost its Sejm representation after the 2007 elections, and its European Parliamentary representation in 2009.
  • League of Polish Families (LPR) – a right-wing party, in the Sejm from 2001. Formed a coalition government with PiS and Samoobrona in 2006–2007. Lost all of its seats in the Sejm after the 2007 elections, and lost all EU parliamentary seats after the European elections of 2009.
  • Your Movement (TR) – Liberal, anti-clerical party, founded as Palikot's Movement (RP) in 2010 by maverick M.P Janusz Palikot, a former Civic Platform politician. RP created something of a stir at the 2011 elections, where it polled 10% of the vote, making it the third largest party, ahead of two of the established parties, PSL and SLD. In October 2013 RP merged with a few smaller parties to form a new party, Your Movement.

Official political parties and organizations in the People's Republic of Poland, 1948–89Edit

Parties
Organizations

Defunct and historical parties in Poland, 1945–48Edit

Defunct and historical political parties in the Second Polish Republic, 1918–39Edit

Defunct and historical parties Political parties before 1918Edit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Korwin-Mikke odsunięty z funkcji prezesa KNP z przyczyn osobistych? - GazetaPrawna.pl - biznes, podatki, prawo, finanse, wiadomości, praca". GazetaPrawna.pl. 7 January 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  2. ^ "The Most Dangerous Man in Europe". thelibertarianalliance.com. 5 October 2015. Retrieved 7 April 2018.

Further readingEdit

  • Dariusz Cecuda, Leksykon Opozycji Politycznej 1976-1989, BIS Trust, Warszawa 1989
  • Małgorzata Dehnel-Szyc, Jadwiga Stachura, Gry polityczne. Orientacje na dziś, Oficyna Wydawnicza Volument, Warszawa 1991
  • Piotr Frączak (e.d), Gorączka czasu przełomu. Dokumenty ugrupowań radykalnych 1989-1990, Instytut Studiów Politycznych Polskiej Akademii Nauk, Wydawnictwo Adam Marszałek, Warszawa 1984
  • Inka Słodkowska (ed.), Programy partii i ugrupowań parlamentarnych 1989-1991' vol. 1-2, Instytut Studiów Politycznych Polskiej Akademii Nauk, Warszawa 1995