The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has forced multiple national governments to either alter, postpone or cancel various elections for 2020. One such example is Poland, who will be conducting their presidential election via mail-in ballot on May 10, 2020. This blog post will examine overall government sentiment and gender equality sentiment in Poland.
Poland is planning to proceed with its scheduled presidential election for May 10, 2020 despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that has infected over 12,000 and killed over 600 in the country. However, the election will not be conducted via in-person voting, instead all ballots will be cast through the Polish postal service. It is estimated that up to 30 million ballots will be cast which is putting a large burden on the postal service, a burden that the Polish postal unions said it can not adequately handle. The conservative ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) is seeking to retain the presidency with their candidate Andrzej Duda, while at the same time the ruling conservative coalition is looking to pass more conservative-leaning bills through parliament during the lockdown in order to avoid public protest and discourse. Recent poll numbers show Duda winning easily in the first round of elections, and with significant leads over individual opponents should there be a second round. With these polling numbers suggesting a favorable outcome for Duda and his party, we decided to look at governance sentiment from our contributor network in Poland to see if it aligned with the polling results.
Premise began collecting governance sentiment data from our Polish network on January 5, 2020, and has received 479 total responses as of April 29, 2020. The first level of governance sentiment we reviewed was ‘currently, my national government is establishing public policies that enable a satisfactory standard of living for citizens.’ 46.37% of responses indicated either ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’ with that statement, 27.37% of responses having essentially no opinion, followed by 26.26% of responses ‘disagreeing’ or ‘strongly disagreeing.’
The next level of sentiment we looked at was ‘currently, the government is providing vital services such as clean water and reliable electricity in a satisfactory manner.’ An overwhelming majority of responses, 69.28%, either ‘agreed’ or ‘strongly agreed’ with that statement with 11.17% of responses either ‘disagreeing’ or ‘strongly disagreeing.’
With higher percentages of responses ‘agreeing’ or ‘strongly agreeing’ with government policy and provision of basic services, there is an indication amongst our Polish respondents of popular support for the incumbent national government.
While Poland has been on lockdown a new abortion bill has been debated in parliament. Poland already has strict restrictions on abortion and this new bill would expand upon those restrictions with Duda indicating he would sign it into law should it pass a parliamentary vote. While we do not have data looking at sentiment specific to abortion rights in Poland we are able to explore social freedoms between genders in society on a more holistic level.
Starting on January 11, 2020, we asked our Polish contributors their thoughts on the following statement: ‘In my country, men and women generally have the same social freedoms.’ For this statement, we looked specifically at 400 male and 318 female responses. Over 80% of responses from both genders either ‘agreed’ or ‘strongly agreed’ that men and women have the same social freedoms. This is a generalized statement that provides some insight into social freedoms amongst different genders, but to gain a better understanding of the extent females enjoy the same social freedoms as men when applied to specific topics, such as personal healthcare decisions, we would need to ask more specific questions.
Currently, Duda has a 60% approval rating, is leading in the polls heading into the election, and has received positive marks from our contributors. These factors could indicate a favorable outcome for him in the upcoming election.
You can visit www.premise.com/COVID-19 to learn more about the data we are collecting about this global pandemic.