Poland elections Women and youth force PiS from power
There was a significant jump in voter turnout on Sunday, with 68.8% of those under 29 voting, up from 46.4% in the 2019 parliamentary election.
The number of young people who voted this time was higher than the number of people over 60, which was also extremely unusual.
There was a lot of support for change among them.
In Wroclaw, Jagodno, the suburb with the long line, is described by locals as a modern estate with young residents. There was a 43.6% margin of victory for the Civic Coalition. Only 5.9% of the votes were cast for PiS.
During a negative election campaign, the major parties didn’t pay particular attention to the youth vote. The government claimed Civic Coalition would bring chaos, including unlimited migration, and called its leader Donald Tusk a stooge of Europe.
The Polish president went on the attack too, painting PiS and its leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, as threats to democracy.
As students outside Warsaw’s University library checked their phones nervously for updates during ballot-count day, they were glued to their phones.
The first exit poll published on Sunday night showed that PiS had lost its majority in parliament and was unlikely to form a government, leading Marta to “cry with excitement”.
Her first election was “overwhelming with joy,” as she described it as either a defining moment in democracy’s preservation or its demise.
According to another Marta, her parents were planning to vote for PiS, but she talked them out of it.
“I want to remain in the EU and have a future in this country.” she said.
There have been disputes between the PiS government and Brussels over the rule of law, LGBT rights, and migration. There is some expectation that relations will be more constructive under the leadership of Donald Tusk, a former president of the European Council.