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Senat (Senate)

Compare data for parliamentary chambers in the Last elections module

A historical Archive of past election results for this chamber can be found on a separate page

Parliament name -
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name (generic / translated) Senat / Senate
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Sejm
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 25 October 2015
Purpose of elections After eight years in opposition, the Law and Justice (PiS) led by Mr. Jaroslaw Kaczynski returned to power, winning an outright majority in both the 460-member Sejm and the 100-member Senate. The PiS, which endorsed Ms. Beata Szydlo as its premiership candidate, became the first party in the country's post-communist era to win enough seats to govern on its own. Outgoing Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz of the Civic Platform (PO) conceded defeat. On 13 November President Andrzej Duda, a former PiS member, tasked Ms. Szydlo with forming a new government.

The 2015 elections were the first to be held under President Duda who defeated the incumbent President, Bronislaw Komorowski (independent, endorsed by the PO), in the May 2015 presidential elections. Elections took place amid the ongoing migration crisis in Europe. In September, President Duda argued against a German-backed quota system for taking in migrants, saying decisions should remain voluntary at the country level. The government, led by the pro-EU PO, decided to take in 7,000 migrants between 2016 and 2017. During the election campaign, the major opposition parties, including the PiS, spoke out against the decision. Other electoral issues included child care benefits, tax cuts and the retirement age. The PiS promised to repeal the 2012 law that raised the retirement age to 67 and to return the retirement age to 60 for women and 65 for men. It also ruled out adoption of the euro in the near future.

The 2015 elections followed a referendum on 6 September on three issues, including the introduction of single-member constituencies for the Sejm. Although over 78 per cent of voters were in favour of single-member constituencies, only 7.8 per cent of some 30 million eligible voters took part in the referendum. Referendum results in Poland are legally binding only if over 50% of eligible voters take part.
Date of previous elections: 9 October 2011

Date of dissolution of the outgoing legislature: 11 November 2015*
*The term of office of the Senate … shall continue until the day preceding the assembly of the Sejm of the succeeding term of office (article 98 of the Constitution).

Timing of election: Upon normal expiry

Expected date of next elections: October 2019

Number of seats at stake: 100 (full renewal)

Number of candidates: 423 (365 men, 58 women)

Percentage of women candidates: 13.7 %

Number of parties contesting the election: 24*
*In addition, 88 groups of voters submitted electoral lists.

Number of parties winning seats: 3

Alternation of power: Yes

Number of parties in government: 3

Names of parties in government: Law and Justice (PiS), Poland Together, and United Poland*
*Poland Together and United Poland won seats under PiS tickets in the 2015 elections. They are in PiS parliamentary caucus.

Date of the first session of the new parliament: 12 November 2015

Name of the new Speaker: Mr. Stanislaw Karczewski (Law and Justice, PiS)
Voter turnout
Round no 125 October 2015
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
15'593'033 (50.91%)

Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Law and Justice (PiS)
Civic Platform (PO)
Polish Peasant Party (PSL)
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total
Law and Justice (PiS) 61
Civic Platform (PO) 34
Independents 4
Polish Peasant Party (PSL) 1
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Senate (13.11.2015, 01.01.2017)

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