Posted on October 13, 2017

Support for Polish Ruling Nationalists at All-Time High

Reuters, October 13, 2017

Poland’s ruling nationalists have seen their public support rise to an all-time high in October, an opinion poll showed on Friday, benefiting from record-low unemployment and the popularity of their welfare-spending policies.

Opposition groups that accuse the Law and Justice (PiS) party of undermining democratic standards in Poland have seen their public backing fall in recent months.

According to CBOS, a pollster overseen by the office of the prime minister, public support for PiS has risen to 47 percent, up three percentage points from a month earlier. The biggest opposition party, centrist Civic Platform, which ruled Poland for eight years until 2015, is supported by 16 percent.

Since coming to power two years ago, the PiS has increased its influence over courts, has brought the prosecutor’s office and state media under direct government control, and introduced restrictions against non-governmental organisations.

It has significantly increased state welfare spending, introducing a nearly universal child subsidy. A cut in the retirement age — a costly election promise — also went into effect at the start of October.