Pro-EU Opposition Pulls Ahead of Poland’s Ruling Party in Survey

(Bloomberg) -- Poland’s main opposition bloc has pulled ahead of the ruling Law & Justice party in an opinion survey before May European Parliament elections.

The European Coalition, a newly constructed group of pro-European Union and liberal parties, is backed by 35 percent of voters, while Law & Justice had 33 percent, according to the survey by Kantar Millward Brown published by daily Gazeta Wyborcza on Wednesday. The newspaper said it’s the first major poll that shows the ruling party losing in the European Parliament ballot, which will come about half a year before Poland holds general elections.

Law & Justice, which has turned Poland from a poster child of eastern Europe’s embrace of the West to one of the EU’s biggest headaches, has been stung by a series of scandals in recent months. Meanwhile, the splintered opposition has teamed up and consolidated its power base, mainly in bigger towns and cities.

Last month, the government announced a fiscal stimulus package worth 1.5 percent of gross domestic product to regain the initiative, selling itself as the guarantor of economic “solidarity,” with the ability to take on the EU on issues like immigration and gay rights.

The European Coalition was built around the center-right Civic Platform, which lost power in 2015 and includes the agrarian Peasants Party, the Social Democrats, who crashed out of Poland’s parliament four years ago, and smaller liberal and green parties.

The March 5-11 survey was carried out on a representative sample of 1,500 adults.

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