Monday, July 13, 2020

The 2020 Polish Presidential Election

Poland's conservative and openly homophobic president, Andrzej Duda, has narrowly won another term. The final official results have yet to be announced but Andrzej Duda has what looks like an unassailable lead in the 2020 Polish Presidential Election. Duda supports the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS), which means that the government will almost certainly continuee along its authoritarian path while eroding judicial independence.

As with nearly all Polish elections the results in this presidential election are largely split geographically. A map of the results created by newspaper Wyborcza (above) reveals that the Liberal challenger, RafaƂ Trzaskowski, the mayor of Warsaw, was more popular in the west of Poland, while Duda was more popular in the south-east of the country.

This geographical split in politics is seen in nearly every Polish election and appears to date back to the partition of Poland in the early 18th Century.

The Partitions of Poland 1815–1918 (from Lessons from the Partitions of Poland)

The current geographical split in Polish politics mirrors very closely how the country was divided in the 18th century. In August, 1772, Russia, Prussia, and Austria signed a treaty that partitioned Poland. Poland only regained its independence as the Second Polish Republic in 1918 after World War I. The borders that divided Poland during the 18th and 19th Centuries disappeared over 100 years ago. However they regularly seem to re-emerge on the country's election maps.

This split in voting patterns along the lines of the old Imperial borders has been seen many times. Back in 2013 Irena Grosfeld and Ekaterina Zhuravskaya wrote about how the spatial pattern in the 2007 election in Poland was "determined, to a large extent, by the Partitions of Poland (1772-1918)". In The Past in the Polish Present the two professors argue that the very different economic and social policies which were followed by Russia, Prussia, and Austria in Poland for over a century have had a persistent legacy in Poland. This legacy appears to have emerged once again in this week's Polish presidential election.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"openly homophobic president"? You are openly homophobic author, i think...