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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Parliamentary elections 2023. Record voter turnout

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Turnout in the elections to the Sejm and Senate was a record 72.9%. – according to the Ipsos exit poll. This is definitely more than in the first free parliamentary elections in 1989. Back then, 62.7 percent of voters went to the polls. Poles. Check who went to vote most willingly and whose representation was the least numerous at the ballot boxes.

Poles went to the polls in droves. According to survey data, as many as 72.9 percent eligible to participate in the elections cast their votes.

Voters aged 50-59 went to the polls in greatest numbers on Sunday – turnout in this group was as high as 83.2%. The fewest voters – 67%. people aged 60+ went to vote in the parliamentary elections.

Women (73.7%) were more willing to vote than men (72.0%).

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It happened that there were more people willing to vote than there were ballot papers prepared in the district commissions. In such cases, card reserves were released. However, these did not always arrive on time. Such a problem occurred, among others, in one of the commissions in Wrocław, Warsaw-Ursus or Zalasewo near Poznań.

The interest in some electoral commissions was so great that voters who arrived at the polling station before 9 p.m. did not have time to cast their votes. When asked during one of Sunday’s conferences whether such people would be given the opportunity to vote, the Chairman of the National Electoral Commission replied that such situations had already occurred in the past. – The National Electoral Commission decided that people who showed up by They have the right to vote at 9 p.m. Then one of the committee members will go to the end of the line so that people who are waiting can vote, said Sylwester Marciniak, chairman of the National Electoral Commission.

Broken record from 1989

Four years ago, the turnout was 61.74%. The highest vote was recorded in Warsaw – over three quarters of eligible voters went to the polls.

Turnout in the 2019 parliamentary elections.PAP

At that time, it was the second highest turnout in the country. So far, the record number in the Third Polish Republic was recorded on June 4, 1989, during the parliamentary elections (62.7%). – For the first time they could decide without fear whether they wanted to choose. And some people took advantage of this freedom – commented Michał Tragarz from the Center for Civic Education on the 30th anniversary of these elections.

At that time, this result was not considered good at all. On the contrary – representatives of both PZPR and Solidarity spoke about a “negative surprise”.

Turnout in parliamentary electionsPAP

There were threats of repression in the Polish People’s Republic

All because in 1980, almost 99 percent of eligible voters officially took part in the Sejm elections. Although these results were probably fake, the turnout was certainly higher. Dr. Marcin Zaremba from the Faculty of History of the University of Warsaw estimated in an interview for the Polish History Museum that the actual attendance could have been around 10%. less than in official announcements, i.e. at the level of 70-80 percent.

Why were we so “eager” to vote? The reason was clear – absence from the elections could result in repression from the authorities.

– You could lose your job, your chance to get a passport or your dreams of studying in your chosen field. Like every totalitarian power, it sought to legitimize power by showing the high involvement of citizens – explained to tvn24.pl on the 30th anniversary of the first free elections, Dr. Jacek Reginia-Zacharski, a political scientist from the University of Łódź.

A higher turnout was also recorded in the Second Polish Republic.

The shortest queues to the polls in 2005

After 1989, people went to vote less and less often.

The lowest turnout was recorded in the 2005 parliamentary elections (40.57%). Law and Justice then won. The Civic Platform took second place, and Samoobrona, the League of Polish Families and the Democratic Left Alliance got to the Sejm.

After the elections, Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz became prime minister, and the government was formed by PiS, Samoobrona and LPR.

Poles are most likely to vote in presidential elections. The highest turnout was in 1995. In the first round, 64.70 percent voted. entitled. In the second round, in which Lech Wałęsa and Aleksander Kwaśniewski faced each other – as many as 68.23 percent.

Turnout in the presidential electionsPAP

The fewest votes were cast in the 2015 presidential election. Then, 48.96 percent of Poles went to the polls in the first round (turnout in the second round was 55.34 percent).

But in the last election the trend changed. The turnout almost reached a record – 64.51% voted in the first round. eligible, and in the second round – 68.18 percent.

The elections to the European Parliament are the least popular. The worst situation was in 2004. Only 20.87% of voters went to the polls. voters.

Main photo source: PAP/Leszek Szymański

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