Big shift to the right in Polish election as left loses all its seats

Poland’s Parliamentary election Sunday brought a major shift to the right.  Preliminary official results are now confirming the exit polls that the conservative euro-sceptic and anti-immigration Law and Justice Party has decisively defeated the governing center-right Civic Platform party.  No parties of the left or center-left were able to win any seats in the new Parliament.  The United Left Party, the successor of the old Communist Party which had reinvented itself as a modern social democratic party, had 50 seats in the last Parliament but failed to win a single one in this election, and a smaller left of center party also failed to win a single seat.

The deluge of Muslim migrants flooding into Europe has been cited as a major factor in the shift to the right

It is estimated that Law and Justice will have 235 seats in the new parliament, a gain of 101, and enough to govern alone without a need for a coalition partner.  If that number holds up, it will be the first time since the fall of communism that one party has won enough seats to form a  government by itself without having to form a coalition.

Law and Justice won Poland’s presidency earlier this year in what was viewed as an upset in a runoff over the Civic Platform incumbent.

Only one other party apart from Law and Justice and Civic Platform from the current parliament has won seats in the new parliament, the Polish Peasants Party, a traditionalist center-right party that represents the country’s small farmers.  Two new parties have won seats for the first time, Kukiz, an ultra-nationalist right wing party led by a Polish rock star which is more strident on immigration than Law and Justice, which won 42 seats,  and Modern Poland, a free enterprise oriented party, which won 27 seats.

Law and Justice favors reduction of the powers of the EU and wants to keep the zloty as Poland’s currency instead of switching to the euro.