Poland’s far-right government loses majority after years of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation

Pride parade in Krakow, Poland on 20 May 2023

Poland’s right-wing government appears to have lost its majority after the country’s parliamentary election on Sunday (15 October). 

If the results predicted by exit polls hold, the anti-LGBTQ+ Law and Justice party, which has governed Poland since 2015, has not won enough votes to form a majority government, Associated Press reported.

The election, which garnered a record turnout of a projected 72.9 per cent, is predicted to see the right-wing Law and Justice party win more seats than any other party, but not enough seats to be able to form a majority. 

According to exit polls, Law and Justice will obtain 200 parliamentary seats, while three opposition parties are predicted to win a combined 248 seats.  

Donald Tusk, former European Union president and now leader of Civic Coalition, which won 31.6 per cent of votes according to exit polls, said the predicted results mark “the end of the bad time”. 

“I have been a politician for many years. I’m an athlete. Never in my life have I been so happy about taking seemingly second place,” Tusk told supporters.

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“Poland won. Democracy has won. We have removed them from power.

“This result might still be better, but already today we can say this is the end of the bad time, this is the end of Law and Justice rule.”

End of a ‘nightmare’ for LGBTQ+ people in Poland

If the Law and Justice party loses its majority in the Polish parliament, it could mark the end of years of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in the country, including the implementation of “barbaric” LGBTQ+ free zones in the country in 2019, which were ordered to be abolished in 2022.

According to Equaldex, Poland rates just 54 out of 100 in terms of LGBTQ+ equality, with same-sex marriage and adoption still illegal. As a result, Poland has been rated the worst country in the EU for LGBTQ+ people to live in for three years in a row. 

LGBTQ+ activist Bart Staszewski told Associated Press that the right-wing government potentially losing its majority is the end of a “nightmare” for the community. 

“This is just the beginning of reclaiming our country. The fight is ahead but we are breathing fresh air today,” Staszewski said.

Votes are reportedly still being counted, with experts claiming final results are expected by Tuesday morning (17 October).