ECR

United Right (Law and Justice)

On 20 February, the ruling Law and Justice party announced the main candidates (two top spots on each regional list) which will be put forward (see table below). The campaign will be headed by Tomasz Poręba, who previously ran the party’s local election campaign.

PiS has taken a different stance to the local elections and decided to be first in officially announcing its leading candidates.  It is no surprise that it has nominated some of its strongest and most loyal figures, although few people anticipated the nomination of Interior Minister Joachim Brudziński.  The party will aim to rely on its base electorate and will use these candidates to rally that support. Unlike the local elections, there are very few new political faces. It remains to be seen how the full regional lists will be composed – especially considering that they will also have to account for nominations of the ruling party’s partners from the United Right.

PiS pre-elesction promises

Jarosław Kaczyński announced t a series of new programmes and reforms, which will form the bulk of PiS campaign, which they hope will propel the party to victory, similar to the promise of the 500+ programme in the previous campaign. Most notably, Kaczyński announced:

  • Financial support for the rejuvenation of local public transport – between municipalities – laws facilitating this support are expected this Spring;
  • Pension Plus – a new programme providing a 13th pension amounting to PLN 1100 – laws are to be passed by the end of May;
  • An amendment to the Family 500+ programme, providing for a pay-out for the first child in a family – the amendment is likely to be introduced in the summer;
  • Lowering the costs of labour – introducing higher tax exemptions and cancelling the personal income tax requirement for persons under 26 – expected by mid-September.

PiS is focusing its campaign programme on continuity. Rather than separating promises between European Parliament and general elections, PiS has proposed an agenda of continuous reforms which will last until autumn. Though they fail to provide clear insight of the party’s plans for the upcoming 4 years after the election season, they are certainly designed to maintain both the core electorate and those voters which were convinced by programmes such as 500+. It will be hard for the opposition parties to compete with these proposals. Firstly, the opposition parties have united for the EP elections, but it is not clear whether this coalition will last for the general elections. Secondly, the opposition has had to focus its efforts on forming a strong coalition, rather than building a competitive programme. Consequently, the opposition will try to undermine PiS’s proposals arguing that they cost too much – but this narrative has already failed in the previous campaign. So far, however, the government has managed to provide plausible data to support the viability of its promises