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Polish 2014 Regional Elections, November 16, 2014


Analysis of Election Results

IPSOS, a trans‐national marketing and opinion research firm with headquarters in Paris, France, was hired by three Polish television stations, TVP,TVN, and POLSAT, to conduct exit polls of voters in the November 2014 Polish Regional Elections. In the May 2014 European Parliamentary Election in Poland, IPSOS conducted exit polls at 845 out of a total 27,000 polling places, received answers from 80,000 voters, and accurately predicted the winners in the May 2014 European Parliamentary Election. In the November 2014 Regional Election in Poland IPSOS collected a similar sample of exit polls.


At 9 p.m. on November 16, 2014, immediately upon closing the polls, IPSOS reported the following results: 46.4% of eligible voters cast ballots; the opposition party Law and Justice (PiS) received 31.5% of the vote; Civic Platform (PO) 27.3%; Polish Peasants' Party (PSL) 17%; and Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) 8.8%.


The next day, the National Election Commission (NEC) announced that digital systems for counting votes failed and votes would be counted by hand. It took six days to complete the hand count, and on November 22, 2014, the NEC announced the following results: PiS received 26.85% of the votes; PO came next with 26.36%; PSL rose to 23.68%; and SLD scored 8.78%. Out of all votes cast, the alarming 17.93% of votes were declared invalid, a record percentage ever. The NEC also announced that percentagewise PiS minimally won against PO, but nonetheless PO won 10 more seats than PiS. The Polish Peasants’ Party (PSL) achieved a historically record result of 23.68% of the votes.


How to explain very significant differences between the IPSOS exit polls and the chaotic hand count of ballots by the NEC? The scale of invalid votes was so unprecedented that it cannot be explained solely by errors and mistakes of voters. The vote invalidation was, on the face of it, organized for the purpose of nullifying the votes and falsifying the results...


For this very reason, it is necessary to ensure public control over the election process as well as automatic recalls and recounts of electoral results. Such procedures should be guaranteed by the election law. Unless effective and efficient control procedures are promptly implemented, few will consider the approaching 2015 presidential and parliamentary elections in Poland as fair.


The results presented by NEC for PiS and PSL differ significantly from those published by Ipsos Research Center based on exit polls. According to NEC, PiS’ results were 4.65% lower, and PSL’s results were 6.68% higher than those specified by Ipsos. According to the results announced by NEC, PSL obtained an unprecedented voter support similar to that of PO and PiS, in sharp contrast to the historical support for PSL not only in parliamentary but also in regional elections.


The utter chaos associated with vote counting by NEC, the unprecedented number of invalid votes, unusually high score of PSL, moreover significant differences in the results given by Ipsos and NEC are the main premises that the elections were falsified.


This work focuses on the comparative analysis of the election results obtained by the Ipsos Research Center with the results announced by the NEC, with the hope that it will provide a better understanding and insights into the fraud that took place during the Regional Elections in Poland of November 16, 2014.


Analysis of Election Results by Ipsos


The Research Center Ipsos surveyed results of Polish Regional Election on November 16, 2014. In particular, Ipsos examined the results of the vote for mayors in some of the largest Polish cities and for provincial (voivodship) assemblies. Their study used the method of exit poll survey, which involves questioning voters leaving the polling stations about their voting choices.


Ipsos was known in Poland through their exit poll study of election results to the European Parliament, which took place on May 25th, 2014. In that survey, Ipsos showed great accuracy of its electoral predictions by giving the correct predictions for nine electoral committees, with the maximum deviation in the range of 0.67%.


High precision in Ipsos’ polling was shown in regard to PiS’ results insomuch as to predicting for PiS 31.8% of vote, while the NEC, after long counting of votes came to the close proximity of 31.78% of vote. The difference was only 0.02%, or 500 votes. In total, PiS won 2.247 million votes in EU elections.


On November 16th, 2014, after the voting closed, Ipsos released preliminary results of the elections, announcing that with a voters’ turnout of 46.4%, the Law and Justice (PIS) won the regional elections, receiving 31.5% of the vote, followed by the Civic Platform (PO) with 27.3% of the vote, the third place went to the Polish Peasants’ Party with 17% of the vote, and in fourth place the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) with 8.8% of the vote.

Comparison of Results: Ipsos vs NEC


On 22 November 2014, after six days of counting the votes, NEC finally announced the election results: 12.061 million valid votes were cast and invalid votes ‐ 17.93%. These numbers implied 14.695 million total votes cast and the number of invalid votes amounted to 2.635 million. NEC announced the following results:


PiS ‐ 26.85% and 3.238 million votes

PO ‐ 26.36% and 3.179 million votes

PSL ‐ 23.68% and 2.855 million votes

SLD ‐ 8.78% and 1.059 million votes


The number of valid votes cast in the elections specified by the NEC and the Ipsos’ survey allows for calculating the number of votes cast for parties before the vote counting began, before the vote invalidation and counterfeiting. Thus, according to Ipsos, the number of votes cast was as follows:


PiS ‐ 4,629 million votes

PO ‐ 4,012 million votes

PSL – 2,498 million votes

SLD – 1,293 million votes.


A comparative summary of the results is presented below:

































As a result of the invalidation of votes and other types of electoral fraud, the Law and Justice (PIS) lost 1.391 million votes, what represents 30% of the total votes cast for that party. Thus, the share of the votes for PiS fell from 31.5% to 26.85% in the total pool of votes, what translates into a loss of 4.65 percentage points.


At the same time, PO lost 0.833 million votes, representing 20.7% of its overall initial votes. However, the share of vote count for PO drops from 27.3% to 26.36% in the total pool of votes, which gives a loss of just 0.94 percentage points.

Next, the Democratic Left Alliance SLD has lost 0.234 million votes, representing 18.1% of the initial vote. Nevertheless, SLD retained its share of the total votes. The difference is only 0.02 percentage points (from 8.8% drops to 8.78%).


The only party that does not lose any vote in that process is the Polish Peasants’ Party. PSL not only did not lose votes, it gained them considerably by 0.358 million votes, or 14.3% of the initial votes. The share of the voting results for PSL increases from 17% to 23.68%, an increase of 6.68 percentage points.


It is worth noting that Ipsos’ data does not specify invalid votes, since respondents had not declared invalid votes; therefore the above percentages were calculated with respect to all votes cast.


PO and SLD serve as the stabilizers of the entire operation of outrageous invalidation of the votes and falsification of the results because both parties retained their initial share of mandates. The opposition party PiS loses the most mandates while the current governing coalition’s partner PSL gains the most.


This scheme against the opposition party PIS is also apparent when comparing the difference in votes between parties before and after invalidating votes, and before and after counterfeiting the final results. For example, the initial difference between PiS and PO is 0.617 million votes and 4.2 percentage points, and after invalidating votes and falsifying the results this difference falls to just 0.059 million votes or 0.49 percentage points.


The comparative analysis of the results between the NEC and Ipsos shows that every third vote for PiS was declared invalid. And every fifth vote for PO was invalid. Yet, despite losing every fifth vote, PO does not lose its share of the total votes and wins the most seats! Similarly, SLD, although it loses nearly every fifth vote, miraculously retains its percentage of votes, even though it has the least number of seats. Finally, PSL is a “phenomenon” that is gaining votes and almost 7%, thus gaining a lot of seats.


Thus the following conclusion can be drawn from these numbers: every third vote cast for the Law and Justice (PIS) was declared invalid. In contrast, every vote cast for PSL was always valid and, in addition, every tenth vote for PSL earns a bonus double counting treatment. As a result, PiS is robbed of most of the votes and mandates while PSL wins most of the votes and mandates. Also PO gains some “sejmik” mandates, whereas SLD stays on the sidelines and just observes the whole operation.


Record Number of Invalid Votes


The results of the last elections reveal a record number of invalid votes: 2.635 million, representing 17.93 % of all votes cast. For comparison, the results of regional elections in 2010 reported 1.745 million invalid votes representing 12.06% of the total votes, and in 2006: 1.759 million votes, representing 12.7% of all votes, both scores considered historically high. Whereas, in the elections to the European Parliament, which took place in May 2014 there was about 3% or 0.220 million of invalid votes.


The majority of invalid votes were recorded in the Lubusz Voivodship (22%), the Greater Poland (20%) and the Warmian‐Masurian Voivodship (20%). Furthermore, there were cases of local municipalities where the number of invalid votes reached well above 30 percent. A record score of invalid votes is especially attributable to smaller centers where votes were counted and apparently falsified by local cliques. Such practices were less prevalent in cities of over 50,000 of population. This factor shall be taken into consideration when analyzing the relevant data for the entire province or the entire country.


Thanks to a comparative analysis of the results announced by Ipsos and NEC, it is also possible to roughly determine the structure of invalid votes and thus uncover one of key aspects of the electoral fraud. From the total of 2.635 million invalid votes, most invalid votes were allocated to PiS ‐ 1,391 million, then PO ‐ 833 thousands, and lastly SLD ‐ 234 thousand votes. Thus, more than one half of invalid votes were attributed to PiS and no invalid votes were attributed to PSL.


The scale of invalid votes is so unprecedented that cannot be explained by errors and mistakes of voters. It point out to an organized system of invalidating votes and falsifying the results; the symptoms of such practices were already observed in the 2006 and 2010 elections.


Without question, the biggest election fraud was committed while a nullification of votes was carried out by adding a second mark or more marks on the ballots cast mostly for PiS or by switching valid ballots with the blank ones. The previous elections also registered a large number of blank ballots, as another aspect of the systemic fraud.


Apparently, in many peripheral polling stations across the country, scores of ballots and votes were fraudulently added, thereby increasing support for a selected candidate and party, and overstating or falsifying the voters’ turnout. It is worth recalling the special case of the Świętokrzyskie voivodship where a turnout reached historically high 52% and a surprising victory for PSL was achieved.


Results by Voivodships


The question must be asked as to how the operation of invalidating votes and falsifying results influenced the balance of power in the provinces and in each voivodship assembly? Again, a comparative analysis of Ipsos and NEC results will be indispensable.


According to Ipsos’ data, the Law and Justice (PIS) won in 8 provinces, and in the other eight came second behind PO. The latter, also took lead in 8 provinces, and in five others was placed second, behind PiS. In 3 provinces PO come third. Accordingly, in 3 provinces, PSL was second and in 13 provinces in third place.


Pursuant to Ipsos’ data, PiS wins in the following voivodships: Lublin (50.1% of the vote), Łódź (47.2%), the Lesser Poland (47.8%), Subcarpathian (50.4%), Podlaskie (48.3%), Świętokrzyskie (54.7%), Silesia (42.9%), and Masovia (47.6%). In three provinces PiS achieved the result of over 50%, with absolute majority of mandates, which would automatically imply a self‐governance in local assemblies of these regions. The best result was achieved by PiS in the Świętokrzyskie voivodship: 54.7% of the votes.


Also according to Ipsos, PO won in the following provinces: Lubusz (46.4%), Kuyavian‐ Pomerania (44.4%), Opole (42.4%), Pomerania (45.1%), Warmia – Masurian (45.7 %), the Greater Poland (47.9%), West Pomerania (45.7%), the Lower Silesia (41.7%). In general, PO achieved the best result in the Greater Poland voivodship: 47.9% of the vote.

The Ipsos’ polling shows that PiS achieved by far the best results of all. PiS is 8 times in the first place and 8 times in the second place, behind PO. Furthermore, PiS is the only contender that also scores votes above 50%. PSL is always far behind, mostly taking third place in 13 provinces, according to the same polling data.


Meanwhile, after the operation of invalidating votes and rigging of the results, NEC makes an astonishing announcement that, in stark contrast to the Ipsos predictions, PO wins in 7 provinces, PiS wins in only 5 of them, and PSL wins in 4 provinces.


Hence, PiS loses to PSL the Świętokrzyskie (Holy Cross) and the Lublin voivodships, two of the regions, where it was, according to the Ipsos’ polling, an undisputed winner with the results of more than 50% of the votes. Consequently, PSL wins the Lublin province, with 32.43% of the vote, and PiS has a second place with allocated 31.88% of the vote (let’s remember, according to Ipsos, it was in fact 50.1%). However, NEC allocates one mandate more for PiS than for PSL.


In this scheme, the most curious case is the Swietokrzyskie voivodship. Ipsos predicted there the PiS as a decisive winner with 54.7% of votes, giving that party a clear perspective of self ‐ governance in that province. Against all odds, NEC recognizes PSL as a majority winner there with 48.24% of the vote and 17 seats in the regional council, which gives that party a self‐ governance in the province.


Meanwhile, according to NEC, the Law and Justice (PIS) won only 24.98% of the votes and 8 seats. In only this instance, the Law and Justice gets about 30% less votes than given by the Ipsos’ research. Surely, instead of self‐governance mandate for the PiS, the populace was endowed with the self‐governing PSL. Indeed, this speaks of impudence in broad daylight. Furthermore, according to NEC, PiS loses also strategic Silesia voivodship to PO. The PiS’ result was reduced from 42.9% to 25.07%, giving PO the win with a score of 27.21%.


As established by NEC, PiS’ results were much worse across the broad electoral spectrum than those predicted by Ipsos, typically lower by 15‐20%. As a result of massive manipulations, in 6 provinces PiS falls to third place.

Also according to the NEC, PO lost to PSL in its own backyard, the Greater Poland, where 20% of the recorded votes were invalid. PSL won 25.80%, and PO 25.73%, however, PO gets one mandate more than PSL, which permitted to announce PO as the winner in this region. Yet, PO must also admit defeat to PSL in the Warmian‐Masurian voivodship. Here, PSL receives 37.09% of the vote, and PO receives 26.88% of the vote (according to Ipsos, PO won with 45.7% of the vote there). In this province, 20% of the votes were reported invalid. As compensation PO receives the Silesia voivodship escheated by manipulations from PiS.


According to NEC, PSL wins in 4 voivodships/provinces: Warmian‐Masurian, Lublin, Świętokrzyskie and Greater Poland; in five provinces it was placed on the second place, and in other 6 of them, on the third place. In almost every province, the result assigned to PSL was more than 20%; especially in the Świętokrzyskie province, where 48.24% of the vote has been allocated to PSL, which is utterly unrealistic.


In consequence of “miraculous” granting to PSL 24% of the vote in the country, an operation of reduction of votes was mainly directed towards the PiS and PO in respective provinces. The most victimized by such endeavor was PiS giving way to PSL, so the latter could be equated with other contenders.


As a result of this game, PO obtained the most seats in the assemblies ‐ 179 seats, the next was PiS with 169 seats, PSL with 157 seats, and SLD with 22 seats. In comparison to previous regional elections in 2010, PO lost 43 seats, PiS gained 28 seats, PSL gained 64 seats and SLD lost 63 seats. The difference between PO and PSL in 2010 amounted to 129 seats, and now it dropped to just 22 seats. PSL has almost as many seats as PiS and PO. Again, PSL and PO are ruling in 15 provinces in partnership or independently, and PiS was left for consolation with just one region, the Subcarpathian. This is a measurable effect of fraudulent invalidation of the votes and falsification of results of the regional elections of 2014.


Astonishing and Fraudulent Results of PSL


As contended above, the most astonishing result of the regional elections was a nationwide “success” of PSL. The NEC certified PSL’s “record” results as 23.68% of the vote, or 2.855 million votes, the result never reached by that party in any elections thus far. In 2006, PSL won 13.24%; in 2010 it was 16.36% of the votes. In the elections to the European Parliament in May 2014, PSL gained barely 6.8% or 0.481 million votes. In polls published in October and November of 2014, PSL consistently obtained results of 5 ‐ 6 %. Only one survey of October 7, 2014, conducted by the IBRiS research center for "Rzeczpospolita", gave PSL a tentative score of 11%. However, PSL activists declared that they will achieve the result of 16% of the votes and more than 90 seats.


When on 14 November 2014, two days before the election, the TNS’ poll for TVP showed that PO was set to reach 32% of votes; PiS: 28%, SLD: 8%, and PSL: 5%, PSL’s chairman, Janusz Piechociński, found that results “scandalous” and threatened the authors with lawsuit. The PSL’s score instantly “improved” to an absurd 24%. Such result is brazenly fraudulent, does not correspond with the scale of voters support for PSL, and thus is untenable statistically, sociologically and politically.


Let’s reflect on this situation for a moment. 60 percent of Poles live in cities. In cities with more than 50,000 of population (and there are 107 of them), live more than 14 million people, where PSL as a peasant party has none or little support, far less than 5%. Thus, in order to achieve a score of 24% across the country, PSL would have to win in small centers with very high turnout, with the results of more than 40 percent. Such phenomenon could not happen. Nevertheless, NEC gave PSL in the Świętokrzyskie voivodship 48% of the votes in recent elections.


None of major media analyze the result of PSL, knowing very well that it is a false result. That, above all, confirms the thesis of rigged elections and exposes the fraud‐prone system and subservient attitude of leading media.

The true scale of counterfeiting was shown on 19 and 20 of November when NEC’s reports, based on partial data, allegedly gave PSL decisive wins in 10 provinces. Therefore, most probably, it was important to fake repeatedly a shut‐down of NEC’s own digital systems in order to control the whole situation.


Nevertheless, the results were finally announced, according to which PSL was recognized as a political force having the same public support as the Civic Platform and the Law and Justice. This in itself is false and an obvious consequence of electoral fraud. As such, this outcome requires a separate and in‐depth analysis of the political and social situation.


Analyzing the result of PSL, it is important to pay attention to one important correlation. In 2014 there was tremendous increase of invalid votes by more than a half of the 2010 elections’ levels (an increase from 12.06% to 17.93%). At the same time, PSL gained a half higher score in 2014 than in 2010 (an increase from 16.3% to 23.68%). Both aspects, the unprecedented scale of vote invalidation and rigging of the electoral results, influenced such outcome. The more invalid votes there were, the better the PSL results were.


Public Scrutiny of the NEC Election Results


The scale of fraud in the 2014 regional elections is vast, covers the whole spectrum of fraudulent practices, and spreads through the entire country. In order to mitigate the fraudulent results, NEC was forced to declare a failure of computer systems used for registration of protocols from polling stations, counting electoral votes, and allocating the mandates. Under those circumstances, a great chaos in vote counting followed and counting by hand was necessary. If only for this very reason, it is necessary to ensure public control over the election process and a proper mechanism for an automatic recall and recounting of electoral results. Such matters should be regulated by law.


Obviously, it is of paramount urgency to recount the electoral protocols and independently establish real results of the regional elections and compare them with the official results. Such review process will clearly demonstrate to the public an unprecedented scale of the recent electoral fraud. The same research and analysis would map with precision invalid votes and, in the same time, expose local political cliques. An identification of local cliques and local caciques would be an important political task, closely related to the need for a public control over local elections results.


Further, a detailed analysis should start with the most drastic cases and the most outlandish results in the provinces where PSL won, and where the highest number of invalid votes was recorded. They are as follows: Świętokrzyskie voivodship, where the decisive victory of the PiS was turned into a decisive victory of PSL; also the province of Silesia where the victory was taken from PiS and given to PO; the Lubusz, Greater Poland, and Warmian‐Masurian voivodships where the highest number of invalid votes was recorded. It is also worth noting that in PO’s backyard like The Grater Poland and the Warmian‐Masurian voivodship, the electoral victory was astonishingly awarded to PSL.


One should also look carefully at the Lodz voivodship, where a decisive victory of PiS over PO was ostensibly reduced to an absolute minimum advantage of the first. The same thing happens with the Lublin province, where PiS’ clear victory turned into PSL’s victory over the opposition. Such analysis must cover all sixteen provinces/voivodships to stay objective.


The distortion of the 2014 regional election results, as demonstrated above, constitutes one of the most significant political developments of the past quarter century and carries enormous political and systemic consequences for Poland. If not properly addressed, the failure of the electoral process in Poland leads to the demise of democracy and the rule of law, common ills of a failed state.