2010 Polish local elections

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The 2010 Polish local elections were held in two parts, with its first round on 21 November and the second on 5 December. The first round included elections of deputies to provincial voivodeship sejmiks, as well for gmina and powiat councilors. The second round of elections were marked for mayors, borough leaders, and other positions decided by runoff elections. The local elections were seen as a test to the ruling Civic Platform and Polish People's Party coalition government under Prime Minister Donald Tusk. [1]

Voivodeship sejmik

A voivodeship sejmik, also known as a provincial or regional assembly, is the regional-level elected legislature for each of the sixteen voivodeships of Poland. Sejmiks are elected to five-year terms, decided during nationwide local elections. The size of the legislative assembly varies for each voivodeship depending on the population; in lower populated provinces, there are 30 members, while in the most populous there are 51 members. Elected representatives of an assembly are known as councillors (radni).

Gmina administrative division of Poland

The gmina is the principal unit of the administrative division of Poland, similar to a municipality. As of 2010 there were 2,478 gminy throughout the country.

Powiat administrative division of Poland

A powiat is the second-level unit of local government and administration in Poland, equivalent to a county, district or prefecture in other countries. The term "powiat" is most often translated into English as "county" or "district".



As the first polls since the July presidential elections, which saw Civic Platform candidate Bronisław Komorowski defeat Law and Justice MP and former Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński, the 2010 local elections were characterized as a test to the administration of Donald Tusk. In the weeks prior to the elections, polls conducted by the CBOS Institute showed the ruling Civic Platform party with a comfortable lead over its rivals. [2] The opposition Law and Justice electoral campaign faced multiple challenges prior to the elections. Polls published in the days leading up to the first round indicated low support for the party. [3] In a related addition, a severe internal party crisis regarding Kaczyński's leadership and the party's ideological direction, simmering among several of the party's more moderate MPs in the Sejm for several months prior, exploded into the open days before the election. The rebel MPs, led by expelled party member Joanna Kluzik-Rostkowska, formed the Poland Comes First parliamentary group on 16 November. [4] The party split further undermined confidence to the government's opposition.

2010 Polish presidential election Presidential elections in Poland made earlier due to President Lech Kaczynskis death

The popular election of the President of Poland was held on 20 June 2010. As no candidate received a majority of votes in the first round, a second round was held on 4 July 2010. Bronisław Komorowski, candidate of Civic Platform, defeated Jarosław Kaczyński, candidate of Law and Justice. The global financial crisis, flooding in Poland and the Smolensk disaster were the main themes in the last months of the election campaign.

Civic Platform is a liberal-conservative political party in Poland. Civic Platform came to power following the 2007 general election as the major coalition partner in Poland's government, with party leader Donald Tusk as Prime Minister of Poland. Tusk was re-elected as Prime Minister in the 2011 general election but stepped down three years later to assume the post of President of the European Council. Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz led the party in the 2015 general election but was defeated by the Law and Justice party. On 16 November 2015 Civic Platform government stepped down after exactly 8 years in power. In 2010 Civic Platform candidate Bronisław Komorowski was elected as President of Poland, but failed in running for re-election in 2015. PO is the second largest party in the Sejm, with 138 seats, and the Senate, with 33 seats. Civic Platform is a member of the European People's Party (EPP).

Law and Justice national conservative political party in Poland

Law and Justice is a national-conservative, Christian democratic, populist political party in Poland. With 237 seats in the Sejm and 66 in the Senate, it is currently the largest party in the Polish parliament.

Due to mandates in Polish law, all electioneering, poll surveys, and campaigning ceased on 20 November, in the period known as the "election silence." [5]

A partisan municipal election poster in Zabrze. Zabrze Wolnosci Wybory.jpeg
A partisan municipal election poster in Zabrze.



Following the tabulated results of the election's first round, Civic Platform emerged with a victory, increasing its profile across provincial, county, and municipal councils. In voivodeship sejmiks, Civic Platform won control of 12 voivodeships, and tied for first place in another. [6] The party's national junior coalition partner, the Polish People's Party, won outright in Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship. Law and Justice received a majority in two voivodeships. Following the results, Prime Minister Tusk and Deputy Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak agreed to extend their coalition into local administrations. [7] Civic Platform performed well in county powiat councils, and also significantly raised its electoral profile in municipal gmina councils.

Voivodeships of Poland highest-level administrative division (province) in Poland

A województwo is the highest-level administrative subdivision of Poland, corresponding to a "province" in many other countries. The term "województwo" has been in use since the 14th century, and is commonly translated in English as "province". Województwo is also rendered in English by "voivodeship" or a variant spelling.

The Polish People's Party, abbreviated to PSL, often shortened to ludowcy is an agrarian Christian-democratic political party in Poland. It has 14 members of the Sejm and four Members of the European Parliament. It was the junior partner in a coalition with Civic Platform. It is a member of the European People's Party and the European People's Party group in the European Parliament.

Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship Voivodeship in Poland

Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship, Świętokrzyskie Province, or Holy Cross Province is one of the 16 voivodeships (provinces) into which Poland is divided. It is situated in southeastern Poland, in the historical province of Lesser Poland, and takes its name from the Świętokrzyskie mountain range. Its capital and largest city is Kielce.

The Polish People's Party also emerged as a winner following the elections, capturing a strong 16 percent of the vote, exceeding previous expectations from pre-election polling. In powiat councils, the party particularly increased its share thanks to its strong connections to local politics. [6] In gmina elections, the party expanded gains from the previous 2006 local elections. [8]

2006 Polish local elections

The 2006 Polish local elections were held in two parts. with its first round on November 12 and the second on November 26, 2006. In the election's first round, voters chose 39,944 gmina councillors, 6,284 powiat councillors and 561 deputies to provincial voivodeship sejmiks. Additionally, 2,460 city and town mayors, borough leaders and other officials were decided by direct or runoff elections in the second round. The elections were seen as a test to the government of Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński, whose coalition between his own Law and Justice party and its junior coalition partners, the Self-Defense of the Republic of Poland and the League of Polish Families, had undergone a severe crisis two months prior.

Law and Justice suffered defeats in all vovoideship, powiat and gmina council tiers of government. While the defeat did not signify a total collapse as survey polls previously suggested, the results pointed towards a general trend of decline for the rightist party, with critics pointing to the perceived aloofness of its party leader, Jarosław Kaczyński. [6]

The center-left Democratic Left Alliance also benefited during the elections. Although pushed to fourth place by the surprising gains of the Polish People's Party, the Democratic Left Alliance increased their numbers in provincial voivodeship sejmiks and powiat councils, though the party suffered losses in gmina council elections. [8]

While Civic Platform achieved considerable success in the outright reelection of Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz as Mayor of Warsaw without a second round, the electorate continued to lean for nonpartisan independent mayors. Independent candidates led in over half of the country's 18 largest cities against mainstream party candidates. [6] Civic Platform's attempts to unseat independent mayors in Kraków, Katowice, Poznań, Toruń and Wrocław all ended in defeat. [9]

In the county and municipal levels, independent candidates and local political committees captured the most votes, retaining 38 percent of all county councilor seats and over 71 percent of all municipal councilor seats.


The turnout in the first round was 47.32%, and in the second round - 35.31%.

Provincial voivodeship sejmik results by party Sejmiki wojewodzkie 2010 BK.PNG
Provincial voivodeship sejmik results by party

Voivodeship councils

Electoral committee% of seatsSeatsIncrease2.svg / Decrease2.svg
     Civic Platform (PO)39.57%222Increase2.svg 36
     Law and Justice (PiS)25.13%141Decrease2.svg 29
     Polish People's Party (PSL)16.68%93Increase2.svg 10
     Democratic Left Alliance (SLD)15.15%85Increase2.svg 9
    Electoral Committee of Rafał Dutkiewicz 1.60%9Increase2.svg 3
     German Minority (MN)0.89%6Decrease2.svg 1
     Silesian Autonomy Movement (RAŚ)0.53%3Increase2.svg 3
    Regional committees0.36%2Increase2.svg 1
     Self-Defense of the Republic of Poland (SRP)--0Decrease2.svg 37
     League of Polish Families (LPR)--0Decrease2.svg 11
Election turnout by county (powiat). Frekwencja wybory samorzadowe 2010 Polska.PNG
Election turnout by county ( powiat ).

County councils

Electoral committee% of seatsSeatsIncrease2.svg / Decrease2.svg
    Local committees38.12%2,398Decrease2.svg 249
     Civic Platform (PO)20.91%1,315Increase2.svg 536
     Law and Justice (PiS)17,25%1,085Decrease2.svg 146
     Polish People's Party (PSL)15,88%999Increase2.svg 132
     Democratic Left Alliance (SLD)7.84%493Increase2.svg 25

Municipal councils

Electoral committee% of seatsSeatsIncrease2.svg / Decrease2.svg
    Local committees71.5%28,480Decrease2.svg 246
     Polish People's Party (PSL)11%4,381Increase2.svg 483
     Law and Justice (PiS)7%2,782Decrease2.svg 194
     Civic Platform (PO)6.82%2,719Increase2.svg 1,122
     Democratic Left Alliance (SLD)3.68%1,466Decrease2.svg 130

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  6. 1 2 3 4 "Small change signals big shift". The Economist . 2010-11-25. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
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