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article imagePoland's eurosceptic opposition tops polls, possible majority

By AFP     Sep 25, 2015 in Politics

Poland's eurosceptic conservative opposition is on track to win next month's general election, polls showed Friday, with one suggesting Jaroslaw Kaczynski's Law and Justice (PiS) party could end up scoring a majority.

PiS garnered 34-39 percent support in three independent opinion surveys, well ahead of Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz's centrist Civic Platform (PO), for which support ranged between 26-30 percent after two consecutive terms in office.

According to the independent Ipsos pollsters, PiS could command as many as 243-seats in Poland's 460-seat lower house of parliament, translating into a 13-seat majority that would allow it to govern alone.

Polls also showed that Kukiz'15, the party of political newcomer Pawel Kukiz -- a retired punk rocker -- could make its parliamentary debut in third spot garnering between five to seven percent support in the upcoming October 25 election.

Other parties that surveys show could surpass the five percent threshold required to enter parliament include the United Left, the Nowoczesna (Modern) liberals led by economist Richard Petru and the PO's current junior coalition partner, the PSL farmers' party.

PiS chief and former prime minister Kaczynski scored a resounding victory for his party in May's presidential election when he floated political greenhorn Andrzej Duda. The 43-year-old easily beat incumbent Bronislaw Komorowski, a long-time PO ally.

Kaczynski has now put forward Duda's campaign manager Beata Szydlo as his choice for prime minister in the race against Kopacz.

Physician and former health minister Kopacz replaced Donald Tusk as premier last year when he became president of the European Council.

When PiS last held power in 2005-7, Kaczynski governed in tandem with his twin brother, the late president Lech Kaczynski.

The period was marked by internals political turmoil triggered by their combative political style and international tensions brought on by the brothers' eurosceptic and anti-Russian views.

Lech Kaczynski died along with 95 other mostly senior Polish statesmen in a 2010 presidential jet crash in Smolensk, eastern Russia.

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