Wednesday, 21 October 2015
We wake up on Monday - and...?
SEVEN SCENARIOS FOR SUNDAY
You have a stiff drink and retire early on Sunday night before the polling stations close at 21:00; you miss the announcement of the exit poll results and the night-long frenzy of analysis and what-iffery. You wake up refreshed on Monday morning, and head for your favourite Polish news source. What will happen? I've carefully (and soberly) considered seven scenarios - each one entirely plausible. Right now, like Schroedinger's cat, each scenario is both alive and dead at the same time - until that moment we open the box and peer in. Any of them could happen. And if I've missed a plausible scenario, please let me know!
So then we are having...
1) PiS has managed to win an outright majority, with 231+ of 460 seat in the Sejm going to the party. They do not need to find any coalition partners with whom to form a government. A bit like Cameron's Tories on 10 May this year. Weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth from all those who believe that things will take a turn for the worse. Foreign investors start scouring CEE for safer locations for their factories, BPO centres and regional HQs. Servers at Ryanair and WizzAir crash. My blog post headline on Monday: We can only hope.
2) PiS clearly wins the largest number of seats, but remains 20-something seats short of a majority. With whom will it form a government? PO, ZLew, Petru, Kukiz and PSL (in that order) make it across the line. PiS + Kukiz = still not enough seats. Once again, PSL, Poland's great political survivors and jobs-for-the-boys act hold the cards. Kaczyński has to take back a lot of nasty things he said about PSL and swallow his pride. But after five weeks of wheeling and dealing, PiS+Kukiz+PSL finally form a government. My blog post headline on Monday: No rush for the door - just yet.
3) PO does better than expected, after Beata Szydło's whiney, apologetic tone fails to convince voters that she's premier material. PO win just as many (or just slightly fewer) seats than PiS. The late surge, coupled with a good showing from Petru, allows his .Nowocześni party to form a more reformist government with PO, as Kukiz voters evaporate. The new coalition announces a focus making the Polish state more efficient. The zloty goes through the roof, as does the WIG20 Index. Kaczyński and Macierewicz say that the ballot was rigged, and that a silent coup d'etat has taken place. My blog post headline on Monday: Good sense triumphs - and I must say I'm rather glad.
4) As above, though with PO unable to form a government with Petru alone. In this version, PSL has made it back into Sejm, as it always does, polls notwithstanding. More wheeling and dealing, more jobs in state enterprises negotiated for the boys, and a fragile three-party coalition is formed. Relief from the markets that the gloomiest prognostications have not come true. More grumblings from PiS about a 'conspiracy'. My blog post headline on Monday: Don't let PSL at the honeypot.
5) A knife's edge, in which ZLew plays a deciding role. Palikot? Acceptable to PO. Greens? Unia Pracy? Ditto. Leszek Milllller? Beyond the pale when it comes to cutting a deal with PiS... but would PO be desperate enough to try to form a government with the Assorted Lefties as a coalition partner? Possibly - even if it meant bringing That Irritating Man back into the corridors of power. Another advantage for PO would be the ability to ditch PSL. Would Petru be needed as well as the lefties? My blog post headline on Monday: Lefties call the shots
6) Comedy Central (for those not having to live it): PiS with Kukiz and KorWiN form a government (may this NEVER happen). A nuttier re-run of 2005-2007, with PiS playing PiS, Kukiz cast as Samoobrona (remember them?) and KORwIn playing the League of Polish Families (gay Teletubbies and main-road mini-skirt ban). The world's media decamp to Warsaw to relay humorous goings-on to their readers and viewers back home. Poland becomes world's laughing-stock. I mean, Corbyn's never going to form a government - this collection of clowns already have! KoRWiN and Macierewicz in one government? WHAT a hoot! My blog post headline on Monday: Got to laugh to keep from cryin'.
7) Stalemate. PiS gets 220 seats. PO gets 185 seats. ZLew gets 40 seats. Petru gets 15 seats. No one else gets in (reminder to non-Polish readers: a party needs 5% of the vote to get over the threshold, a alliance - such as Zjednoczona Lewica - needs 8%). No Kukiz. And the usual kingmakers, PSL, fail to make the 5%. Who you gonna turn to, PiS? The heirs to PZPR, or the anti-statist voice of the free market? My blog post headline on Monday: With which devil will PiS get into bed with?
Dear Readers - if you can come up with any other (relatively) plausible scenario, please do so in the comments box below. And remember - anything can happen in the next 100 hours. Bronisław Komorowski enjoyed a 40-point lead over Andrzej Duda and lost. And that in the UK General Election held in May, not one opinion poll taken the day before the vote predicted an outright Tory majority. Like zero. So polls often get it wrong. Voters, when pushed (as also in the case of the Scottish referendum last September) tend to choose safety and security over the radical and unknown.
So - what do YOU reckon will happen on polling day?
This time last year:
Bilingualism benefits the brain
This time five years ago:
Crushed velvet dusk in my City of Dreams II
This time six years ago:
Going North, the quick way
This time seven years ago:
Glorious autumn dusk
This time eight years ago:
Last man voting?