From a party-political perspective, the election has seen at least a partial consolidation of the pattern of competition. Although the spectacular arrival of a new party, the pro-market and libertarian Palikot Movement (Ruch Palikota, RP) represents a new locus of ideological identification in this structure, the surprise of its emergence should not lead to the rash drawing of conclusions as to its present relevance or future prospects. When the novelty of Palikot's triumph has worn off, the governing liberal-conservative Civic Platform (Platforma Obywatelska, PO) - and Tusk in particular - will remain the real winners of this election.
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Next Sunday's Polish parliamentary election is, on current evidence, too close to call. This is somewhat unexpected – in contrast with the majority of its predecessors in the post-communist era, the coalition government of the liberal-conservative Civic Platform (Platforma Obywatelska, PO) and the Polish Peasant Party (Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe, PSL) has enjoyed higher levels of public approval than disapproval, and for much of its tenure looked set to become the first government in post-communist Poland to win a second term.