The Left (Poland)

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The Left

Lewica
LeaderWłodzimierz Czarzasty
Adrian Zandberg
Robert Biedroń
Parliamentary LeaderKrzysztof Gawkowski
FoundedAugust 2019
IdeologySocial democracy[1]
Secularism[2][3][4][5][6]
Pro-Europeanism[7]
Factions:
Democratic socialism[8][9]

Social liberalism[10]
Political positionCentre-left[11] to left-wing[12]
Member organisationsDemocratic Left Alliance
Spring
The Left Together
Sejm
49 / 460
Senate
2 / 100
European Parliament
7 / 51
Regional assemblies
11 / 552
Website
https://lewica2019.pl/

The Left (Polish: Lewica) is a left-wing[12] to centre-left[13][11] political alliance in Poland, founded to contest the 2019 parliamentary election. The alliance consists of the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD), Spring and Lewica Razem.[14] It is also externally supported by several small left-wing parties including Your Movement, the Polish Socialist Party, Yes for Łódź,[15] Urban Movement,[16] and the Polish Communist Party[17]. These parties stood candidates under the banner of Lewica, along with several independents. It is described as a big tent for the Polish left,[18] with Lewica itself describing itself as a coalition based on egalitarianism, social justice and secularism.[19]

Voter base[edit]

As Lewica is formed as a unification of the Polish left, it has attempted to diversify its platform and appeal to a broader range of voters, rather than relying only on the votes of former officials and civil servants during the PPR period, which had been and continues to be one of the Democratic Left Alliance's largest voting blocs. This attempt, however, was met with limited success by the fact that the coalition's pro-LGBT rights platform failed to appeal to working class and economically left-leaning Poles, which tend to favour a more socially conservative policy (especially as both economically interventionist and social conservative positions were already being provided by the right-wing PiS party). At the same time, the more liberally-oriented city-dwelling population, which could favour the party's proposed socially progressive policies, found little appeal in the party's platform of economic interventionism.[20][21][22]

Despite this, some sociologists deem that the unification of the parties could lead to an overall mobilization of leftist voters,[23] which could now feel that their vote for the coalition wouldn't be wasted.[24] In addition, the party's platform, which differs greatly from the platforms of the other major Polish political parties, has managed to find some support among disillusioned secular voters, which don't identify with any political force or even with the left, but instead desire "something new".[22][25]

Ironically, the party also received a considerable boost in support among older voters after the ruling PiS party passed a "degradation law", which cut retirement pensions and disability benefits for thousands of former bureaucrats during the PPR period, whose main income was now directly threatened by the new government policy. This led to an expansion and consolidation of the otherwise shrinking of the Democratic Left Alliance's previously described voting bloc.[25]

Ideology[edit]

The electoral program of the Left includes:[26][19]

Composition[edit]

Party Ideology Position Leader MPs[27] Senators[28] MEPs Sejmiks
Democratic Left Alliance Social democracy
Pro-Europeanism
Centre-left Włodzimierz Czarzasty
24 / 460
0 / 100
5 / 51
11 / 552
Spring Social liberalism
Progressivism
Centre-left Robert Biedroń
19 / 460
1 / 100
2 / 51
0 / 552
The Left Together Social democracy
Democratic socialism
Left-wing Collective leadership
6 / 460
0 / 100
0 / 51
0 / 552
Affiliate organisations
Polish Socialist Party Democratic socialism Left-wing Wojciech Konieczny
0 / 460
1 / 100
0 / 51
0 / 552
Your Movement Social liberalism
Anti-clericalism
Centre to
Centre-left
Marzenna Karkoszka
Kamil Żebrowski
0 / 460
0 / 100
0 / 51
0 / 552
Polish Communist Party Communism
Marxism–Leninism
Far-left Krzysztof Szwej
0 / 460
0 / 100
0 / 51
0 / 552
Polish Internet Party

Direct Democracy
Social liberalism

Centre to Centre-left Piotr Zemelka
0 / 460
0 / 100
0 / 51
0 / 552

Electoral performance[edit]

Sejm
Year Popular vote % of vote Seats Seat change Government Leader
2019 2,319,946 12.56 (#3)
49 / 460
Increase 49 Opposition Włodzimierz Czarzasty
Senate
Year Popular vote % of vote Seats Seat change Government Leader
2019 415,745 2.28 (#4)
2 / 100
Increase 2 Opposition Włodzimierz Czarzasty

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Partia Razem. Nowa partia dla prekariuszy" (in Polish). Gazeta Wyborcza. Retrieved 2015-09-26.
  2. ^ Syska, Michał. Strengthening Social Democracy in the Visegrad Countries (PDF). Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.
  3. ^ "Interview with Adrian Zandberg, Partia Razem".
  4. ^ "POLITICS Spring in Poland: Liberal View on Robert Biedron's New Political Party".
  5. ^ "Key election points".
  6. ^ "Why vote for the Left?".
  7. ^ "Polish conservatives in final push to secure re-election". Irish Times. 11 October 2019. Today’s left-wing Lewica alliance has presented an anti-PiS, pro-EU programme espousing LGBT rights and loosening Poland’s restrictive abortion laws.
  8. ^ "Razem's Open Letter to Bernie Sanders".
  9. ^ "Poland's election - what you need to know".
  10. ^ "„Frühling" macht der linken Mitte Hoffnung".
  11. ^ a b "Poland election: Voters give verdict on four years of right-wing populists". The Independent. 13 October 2019. The latest voting intention poll by Kantar has PiS and its allies on 43 per cent, the centre-right liberal Civic Platform on 28 per cent, and the left-of-centre Lewica on 13 per cent.
  12. ^ a b "Poland ruling conservatives win re-election". 2019-10-14. Retrieved 2019-10-16.
  13. ^ "Socialists set to make comeback in Polish elections next month". The Independent. 2019-09-21. Retrieved 2019-10-16.
  14. ^ "What's Left in Poland? Can the 'three tenors' led by Adrian Zandberg, take on Poland's duopoly?".
  15. ^ "Gill-Piątek: W Sejmie będę głosem skrzywdzonych przez system". KrytykaPolityczna.pl (in Polish). 2019-10-11. Retrieved 2019-10-15.
  16. ^ User, Super. "Anita Kucharska-Dziedzic". Lewica - Oficjalna strona jedynej postępowej siły w polskiej polityce! (in Polish). Retrieved 2019-10-15.
  17. ^ Pisze, Coschess (2019-10-10). "Jedyny komunistyczny kandydat w wyborach". KOMUNISTYCZNA PARTIA POLSKI (in Polish). Retrieved 2019-10-15.
  18. ^ "Socialists set to make comeback in Polish elections next month". The Independent. 2019-09-21. Retrieved 2019-10-16.
  19. ^ a b "Why vote for the left?". LEWICA.
  20. ^ "Socialists set to make comeback in Polish elections next month". The Independent. 2019-09-21. Retrieved 2019-10-16.
  21. ^ "Lewica: a united Polish left". www.ips-journal.eu. Retrieved 2019-10-16.
  22. ^ a b SADURA, Przemysław; SIERAKOWSKI, Sławomir (2019). POLITICAL CYNICISM: The Case of Poland (PDF).
  23. ^ "Poland's fragmented opposition coalesces into left, center blocs". Reuters. 2019-07-18. Retrieved 2019-10-16.
  24. ^ "Socialists set to make comeback in Polish elections next month". The Independent. 2019-09-21. Retrieved 2019-10-16.
  25. ^ a b Szczerbiak, Aleks (2018-04-30). "What are the prospects for the Polish left?". London School of Economics series on Evidence-based analysis and commentary on European politics. Retrieved 2019-10-18.
  26. ^ "Program Wyborczy Lewicy".
  27. ^ Sosnowiecki, Robert (2019-10-15). ""PRAWDZIWE" ;) uwzględniające partie wyniki wyborów: PiS - 199 PO - 123 SLD - 24 PSL - 20 Wiosna - 19 Porozumienie - 18 SP ZZ - 18 Nowoczesna - 8 Ruch Narodowy - 6 (w tym G.Braun) Kukiz'15 - 6 Razem - 6 Korwin - 5 "UED" -4 (Biernacki,Lubczyk,Protasiewicz,Tomczak) Zieloni -3 MN -1". @Wad_emecum (in Polish). Retrieved 2019-10-16.
  28. ^ Sochan, Jacek. "Senatorowie Lewicy". Lewica - Oficjalna strona jedynej postępowej siły w polskiej polityce! (in Polish). Retrieved 2019-10-15.