Poland’s drift to right divides young male and female voters

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Poland’s drift to right divides young male and female voters

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Out on the campaign trail before Poland’s parliamentary elections, Jolanta Banach, a leftwing candidate, has noticed a recurring pattern. “There’s a young couple out for a walk with a pushchair, and I approach them to offer our campaign leaflets. The guy says: ‘No, we don’t want it.’ And then the woman says: ‘Actually, I’d like one please.’”

It’s an anecdotal indication of what polls suggest is a significant divide between young men and women in their political views, with men under 30 more likely to support nationalist parties and hold far-right views, and women much more liberal or leftwing in their outlook.

Sunday’s elections will show how Poland is divided between supporters and opponents of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, which has based its message on taking pride in Polishness and fighting off supposedly foreign “gender and LGBT ideology”.

The split manifests itself along many lines: countryside versus cities; the poorer east against the more affluent west. It was long thought that gender did not play much of a role, with PiS even drawing slightly more support among women than men in the 2015 elections (a situation mirrored in Hungary, where the far-right ruling Fidesz party won a higher share of female than male votes in elections last year). But among younger Poles there is a growing divergence between the sexes, especially in support for Konfederacja, a grouping even further to the right than PiS.

Click here to read the full article published by The Guardian on 8 October 2019.

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