Podcast: Roundtable Osteuropa 41

Youthquake Polska: Elections under conditions of heightened polarisation

Wahlkampfveranstaltung von Polens TikTok-Politiker und Unternehmer Slawomir Mentzen und seiner rechtsextremen Konföderationspartei in Kielce, Polen, am 18. August 2023. IMAGO / NurPhoto

Ahead of the Polish parliamentary elections on 15 October 2023, political campaigns are running at full steam. From coupling the election with a referendum, to employing an increasingly sharp rhetoric against Poland’s neighbours Germany, and, as of recently, Ukraine, the ruling Law and Justice party is eager to mobilize voters and maintain power.

One group could play a decisive role in changing the future power dynamics. In a continuation of their work within the MoveMeRU project, researchers Félix Krawatzek and Hakob Matevosyan have surveyed Polish 18 to 34 year olds on current social issues.

From how political identifications and attitudes towards current issues like migration and the war in Ukraine translate into voting intentions, to how family relations and intergenerational dynamics influence perceptions of political representation: The discussions of the finding reveals Poland’s youth is highly motivated to vote and noticeably turning away from bigger parties and towards the right-wing Confederation party, especially among men.

(Music: “Complete” by Modul is licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0-License.)