The EP election took place at a time of enormous uncertainty in Polish domestic politics. It was almost completely overshadowed by a government formation crisis that had engulfed Poland since March when ex-communist premier Leszek Miller announced his intention to stand down the day after Polish accession to the EU. By then Mr Miller’s Democratic Left Alliance- Labour Union (SLD-UP) government was the most unpopular since 1989 with approval ratings of only around 5 per cent.1 Although it lost its parliamentary majority following the departure of its Polish Peasant Party (PSL) coalition partner in March 2003, the government had been fairly secure in office and able to win key parliamentary votes. The situation changed dramatically at the end of March when 33 SLD-UP deputies led by Sejm Marshall Marek Borowski broke away to form a new party, Polish Social Democracy (SDPL), thereby depriving Miller of his de facto parliamentary majority.
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