Poland's Kaczynskis near parliament majority: poll

October 8, 2007

WARSAW (Reuters) -- The party of the ruling Kaczynski twins may be close to winning a parliamentary majority in the Polish elections in two weeks, which could allow it to create a one-party cabinet, a poll showed.

The party of Jaroslaw and Lech Kaczynski, Poland's prime minister and president, is backed by 41 percent of Poles, a record showing for the conservatives, according to a poll commissioned by the Wprost magazine.
The 9-point lead over the main opposition would give the Kaczynskis' Law and Justice (PiS) party 228 seats in the parliament, just three shy of a majority.
If the Kaczynskis win outright control, their party would be in a position to create Poland's first single-party cabinet with a parliamentary majority since it dumped communist rule in 1989.
The centrist Civic Platform, backed by 32 percent of those polled, would get 167 seats, with only the post-communist leftists also making it into parliament, with 65 seats.
Two other polls on Saturday showed a more muddled picture, with one giving Law and Justice slightly lower support at 38 percent, six points ahead of the main opposition. Another survey pointed to a dead hear between the two at 31-percent for each.
Law and Justice has been climbing in recent polls thanks to an aggressive campaign centered round an anti-corruption message and a better-than-expected showing by the prime minister in a debate with former President Aleksander Kwasniewski, who heads a center-left bloc.
Poland's opposition was ahead of Law and Justice when Kaczynski kicked out two fringe parties from his government in August, prompting an early election.
But the Civic Platform has struggled to gain momentum with a lackluster campaign, their business-friendly proposals overshadowed by a booming economy.
The Kaczynskis, whose party has held power over two turbulent years, look set to attract voters from their former cabinet partners with a more populist and nationalistic platform.
Prime Minister Kaczynski urged caution despite the latest opinion polls.
""Today we have had a splendid survey, but I want to warn against euphoria,"" he told a PiS election rally in the central city of Lodz.
""I warn against jumping to the conclusion that we have already won. Elections are won not through public-opinion surveys, they are won at the polls.""
Even if the twins' party fails to win a majority, it will likely have a strong hand in cabinet negotiations.
Markets had been counting on the Civic Platform playing a key role in the next government, either with Law and Justice or the left. But the election has so far had little effect on the investor sentiment.
In an article in a local tabloid daily, Civic Platform's leader Donald Tusk, who had earlier ruled out a coalition with Law and Justice, renewed recent calls for a grand coalition to create a Polish ""economic miracle.""
""I'll put away my pride and ambition ... and will extend a hand to people who ruthlessly beat me down,"" Tusk wrote.