The pro-European centrist opposition won the legislative elections in Poland, according to the almost complete partial results published Monday evening, October 16, the day after these elections considered crucial for the future of the country and which recorded a record participation.

According to the partial results published after the counting of 99.54% of the ballots, the election should put an end to eight years of government of the populist nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party of Jaroslaw Kaczynski, with its Eurosceptic and anti-immigrant discourse.

The results show that PiS leads the poll with 35.58%, but without a majority, while Mr Tusk’s Civic Coalition, the Third Way party and the Left together obtain more than 53.52%.

The Electoral Commission is due to announce the final results and official seat sharing on Tuesday.

“Poland won, democracy won, we chased them from power,” Donald Tusk, president of the Civic Coalition (KO, opposition) and former president of the European Council, declared on Sunday evening. It’s the end of this bad period, it’s the end of the reign of PiS. »

According to projections by the polling institute Ipsos, Donald Tusk’s Civic Coalition would obtain 158 seats, the Third Way (Christian Democrats) 61 and the Left 30, or 249 seats for the pro-European opposition out of a total of 460 .

The PiS would obtain 196 seats, and its potential far-right ally, the Confederation 15 seats, or 211 together.

A historic participation

The poll saw a historic record turnout, with 74.25% of voters turning out to vote. A figure which even far exceeds that of the 1989 legislative elections (62.7%) which marked the end of communism in Poland.

For many politicians and analysts, Sunday’s vote was of comparable importance to that of thirty-four years ago. The participation of young people and especially young women was decisive, reaching unexpected levels, underline experts.

“Not so long ago, half of women said they would not vote,” Justyna Kajta, a sociologist from SWPS University in Warsaw, reminds Agence France-Presse (AFP). However, “it seems that more women than men went to the polls: nearly 74% of women and 72% of men participated” in the elections.

“Simultaneously, nearly 70% of young people aged 18 to 29 took action, compared to 46% four years earlier,” she adds. “This jump is considerable in terms of interest in politics and participation. »

The liberalization of the right to abortion at the heart of the campaign

Conservative Poland, where power remains close to the Catholic Church, has one of the strictest abortion laws in Europe. Voluntary termination of pregnancy is only authorized in cases of rape, incest and danger to the life or health of the mother or child.

During the campaign, Donald Tusk promised to liberalize the right to abortion. This former senior European Union official also promised to restore good relations with Brussels and to release European funds frozen by the EU due to disputes that arose during the two governments led by PiS. He said he was confident in the possibility of forming a coalition.

“We will definitely reach an agreement,” he assured after the announcement of the first results, and potential members of the coalition made similar statements. However, analysts warn that any governing coalition from the current opposition could frequently come into conflict with President Andrzej Duda, a close friend of PiS.

In initial statements after the vote, Duda welcomed the high turnout but did not say to whom and when he would entrust the formation of the new government.

Preliminary results do not give potential opposition allies the three-fifths majority required to override the presidential veto.