Civic Platform
Platforma Obywatelska
ChairmanDonald Tusk
General SecretaryMarcin Kierwiński
Parliamentary leaderBorys Budka
SpokespersonJan Grabiec
Founded24 January 2001; 21 years ago (2001-01-24)
Split from
Headquartersul. Wiejska 12A, 00-490 Warsaw
Membership (2018)33,500[1]
Political positionCentre to centre-right
National affiliationCivic Coalition
European affiliationEuropean People's Party
European Parliament groupEuropean People's Party
  •   Orange
  •   Blue
106 / 460
38 / 100
European Parliament
14 / 52
Regional assemblies
152 / 552
Website Edit this at Wikidata

Civic Platform (Polish: Platforma Obywatelska, PO)[nb 1] is a political party in Poland. It is currently led by Donald Tusk.

It was formed in 2001 by splinter factions from the Solidarity Electoral Action and Freedom Union, and it later placed second in the 2001 parliamentary election. It served in the parliamentary opposition until 2007, when it overtook Law and Justice, won 209 seats and Tusk was elected as prime minister. Following the Smolensk air disaster in 2010, Bronisław Komorowski served as acting president and was elected as president in the same year. Tusk continued to serve as prime minister and leader of Civic Platform until he resigned in 2014 to assume the post of the president of the European Council. The party was afterwards defeated in the 2015 parliamentary and presidential elections. It also placed second in the 2019 parliamentary election, and its 2020 presidential candidate, Rafał Trzaskowski, won 49% of the popular vote in the second round and lost the election to Andrzej Duda.

Initially positioned as a Christian democratic party with strong economically liberal tendencies, it soon adopted liberal conservatism throughout the 2000s, although during their time in power they were aligned with more pragmatic and centrist views, and were characterized as a catch-all party. In the 2010s, the Civic Platform adopted more socially liberal policies, aligned itself with conservative liberalism, and it has been since positioned in the centre and leaning towards the centre-right.[nb 2] It also strongly advocates Poland's membership in the European Union and NATO. It is a member of the European People's Party.

It currently holds 106 seats in the Sejm and 37 seats in the Senate of Poland, and it also heads the Civic Coalition, which was founded in 2018. Since its creation, it has shown strong electoral performances in Warsaw, the west, and the north of Poland. Since the 2000s, the Civic Platform has established itself as one of the dominant political parties in Poland.


The Civic Platform was founded in 2001 as economically liberal, Christian-democratic split from existing parties. Founders Andrzej Olechowski, Maciej Płażyński, and Donald Tusk were sometimes jokingly called "the Three Tenors" by Polish media and commentators. Olechowski and Płażyński left the party during the 2001–2005 parliamentary term, leaving Tusk as the sole remaining founder, and current party leader.

In the 2001 general election the party secured 12.6% of the vote and 65 deputies in the Sejm, making it the largest opposition party to the government led by the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD).

In the 2002 local elections PO stood together with Law and Justice in 15 voivodeships (in 14 as POPiS, in Podkarpacie with another centre-right political parties). They stood separately only in Mazovia.

In 2005, PO led all opinion polls with 26% to 30% of public support. However, in the 2005 general election, in which it was led by Jan Rokita, PO polled only 24.1% and unexpectedly came second to the 27% garnered by Law and Justice (PiS). A centre-right coalition of PO and PiS (nicknamed:PO-PiS) was deemed most likely to form a government after the election. Yet the putative coalition parties had a falling out in the wake of the fiercely contested Polish presidential election of 2005.

Lech Kaczyński (PiS) won the second round of the presidential election on 23 October 2005 with 54% of the vote, ahead of Tusk, the PO candidate. Due to the demands of PiS for control of all the armed ministries (the Defence Ministry, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and the office of the Prime Minister, PO and PiS were unable to form a coalition. Instead, PiS formed a coalition government with the support of the League of Polish Families (LPR) and Self-Defense of the Republic of Poland (SRP). PO became the opposition to this PiS-led coalition government.

The PiS-led coalition fell apart in 2007 amid a corruption scandal involving Andrzej Lepper and Tomasz Lipiec[3] and internal leadership disputes. These events led to new elections, and in the 21 October 2007 parliamentary election PO won 41.51% of the popular vote and 209 out of 460 seats in the Sejm and 60 out of 100 seats in the Senate of Poland. Civic Platform, now the largest party in both houses of parliament, subsequently formed a coalition with the Polish People's Party (PSL).

At the 2010 Polish presidential election, following the Smolensk air disaster which killed the incumbent Polish president Lech Kaczyński, Tusk decided not to present his candidature, considered an easy possible victory over PiS leader Jarosław Kaczyński. During the PO primary elections, Bronisław Komorowski defeated the Oxford-educated, PiS defector Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski. At the polls, Komorowski defeated Jarosław Kaczyński, ensuring PO dominance over the current Polish political landscape.[4]

In November 2010, local elections granted Civic Platform about 30.1 percent of the votes and PiS at 23.2 percent, an increase for the former and a drop for the latter compared to the 2006 elections.[4]

PO succeeded in winning four consecutive elections (a record in post-communist Poland), and Tusk remains as kingmaker. PO's dominance is also a reflection of left-wing weakness and divisions on both sides of the political scene, with PiS suffering a splinter in Autumn 2010.[4]

Civic Platform won the plurality of votes in the 9 October 2011 parliamentary election, gaining 39.18% of the popular vote, 207 of 460 seats in the Sejm, and 63 out of 100 seats in the Senate.[5]

In the 2014 European elections, Civic Platform came first place nationally, achieving 32.13% of the vote and returning 19 MEPs.[6]

In the 2014 local elections, PO achieved 179 seats, the highest single number.[7]

In the 2015 presidential election, PO endorsed Bronisław Komorowski, a former member of PO from 2001 till 2010. He lost the election receiving 48.5% of the popular vote, while Andrzej Duda won with 51.5%.[8]

In the 2015 parliamentary election, PO came second place after PiS, achieving 24.09% of the popular vote, 138 out of 460 seats in the Sejm, 34 out of 100 seats in the Senate.[9]

In the 2018 local elections, PO achieved 26.97% of the votes, coming second after PiS.[10]

In the 2019 European elections, PO participated in the European Coalition electoral alliance which achieved 38.47%, coming second after PiS.[11]


The Civic Platform has been mainly described as a centrist[12] or centre-right[13][nb 2] political party. It has been also described as liberal-conservative,[14] conservative,[15] conservative-liberal,[16] Christian democratic,[17][18] neoliberal,[15][19][20][21] liberal,[22] and social-liberal.[23][24] It was also described as pragmatic and big tent.[25][26][27] It supports Poland's membership in the European Union.[28]

Since 2007, when Civic Platform formed the government, the party has gradually moved from its Christian-democratic stances, and many of its politicians hold more liberal positions on social issues. In 2013, the Civic Platform's government introduced public funding of in vitro fertilisation program. Civic Platform also supports civil unions for same-sex couples but is against same-sex marriage and the adoption of children by same-sex couples. The party also currently supports liberalisation of the abortion law,[29] which it had opposed while in government.[30]

Despite declaring in the parliamentary election campaign the will to limit taxation in Poland, the Civic Platform has in fact increased it. The party refrained from implementing the flat tax, increasing instead the value-added tax from 22% to 23% in 2011.[31] It has also increased the excise imposed on diesel oil, alcoholic beverages, tobacco and oil.[32][33] The party has eliminated many tax exemptions.[34][35][36]

In response to the climate crisis, the Civic Platform has promised to end the use of coal for energy in Poland by 2040.[37]

After becoming the biggest opposition party, the Civic Platform became more socially liberal. This tendency is especially popular among the younger generation of party's politicians such as Mayor of Warsaw and candidate in the presidential election Rafał Trzaskowski. The party has also changed its opinion about the social programmes of PiS and PSL, starting to support them.[38][39][40]

Political support

This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (January 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

See also: Poland A and B

Civic Platform's support is concentrated in the west and north of the country.  Areas voting for Bronisław Komorowski in 2010 are shaded orange above.
Civic Platform's support is concentrated in the west and north of the country. Areas voting for Bronisław Komorowski in 2010 are shaded orange above.

Today, Civic Platform enjoys support amongst higher class constituencies. Professionals, academics, managers and businessmen vote for the party in large numbers. People with university degrees support the party more than less educated voters. PO voters tend to be those people who generally benefited from European integration and economic liberalisation since 1989 and are satisfied with their life standard. Many PO voters are social liberals who value environmentalism, secularism and Europeanisation. Young people are another voting bloc that support the party, though some of them withdrew support after their economic and social situation did not improve significantly when PO was in government. Conservatives used to vote for the party before PO moved sharply to the left on economic (e.g., increase of taxes) and social issues (e.g., support for civil unions).

Areas that are more likely to vote for PO are in the west and north of the country, especially parts of the former Prussia before 1918. Many of these people previously used to vote for the Democratic Left Alliance when that party enjoyed support and influence. Large cities in the whole country prefer the party, rather than rural areas and smaller towns. This is caused by the diversity, secularism and social liberalism urban voters tend to value. In urban areas, conservative principles are much less identified with by voters. Large cities in Poland have a better economic climate, which draws support to PO.


No. Image Name Tenure
Maciej Płażyński 2.jpg
Maciej Płażyński 18 October 2001–
1 June 2003
Donald Tusk (6165309851) (cropped).jpg
Donald Tusk 1 June 2003–
8 November 2014
Ewa Kopacz debata z Szydło (19.10.2015).jpg
Ewa Kopacz 8 November 2014–
26 January 2016
Grzegorz Schetyna Sejm 2019.jpg
Grzegorz Schetyna 26 January 2016–
29 January 2020
Borys Budka Sejm 2016.JPG
Borys Budka 29 January 2020–
3 July 2021
Donald Tusk (6165309851) (cropped).jpg
Donald Tusk since 3 July 2021

Election results


Election year Leader # of
% of
# of
overall seats won
+/– Government
2001 Maciej Płażyński 1,651,099 12.7 (#2)
65 / 460
SLD-UP-PSL (2001-2003)
SLD-UP (2003-2005)
SLD-UP-SDPL (2004-2005)
2005 Donald Tusk 2,849,259 24.1 (#2)
133 / 460
Increase 68 PiS Minority (2005)
PiSSRPLPR (2006-2007)
2007 Donald Tusk 6,701,010 41.5 (#1)
209 / 460
Increase 76 PO–PSL
2011 Donald Tusk 5,629,773 39.2 (#1)
207 / 460
Decrease 2 PO–PSL
2015 Ewa Kopacz 3,661,474 24.1 (#2)
138 / 460
Decrease 69 PiS
2019 Grzegorz Schetyna 5,060,355 27.4 (#2)
119 / 460
Decrease 19 PiS
As part of Civic Coalition, which won 134 seats in total.


Election year # of
overall seats won
2 / 100
As part of the Senate 2001 coalition, which won 15 seats.
34 / 100
Increase 32
60 / 100
Increase 26
63 / 100
Increase 3
34 / 100
Decrease 29
43 / 100
Increase 9


Election year Candidate 1st round 2nd round
# of overall votes % of overall vote # of overall votes % of overall vote
2005 Donald Tusk 5,429,666 36.3 (#1) 7,022,319 46.0 (#2)
2010 Bronisław Komorowski 6,981,319 41.5 (#1) 8,933,887 53.0 (#1)
2015 Supported Bronisław Komorowski 5,031,060 33.8 (#2) 8,112,311 48.5 (#2)
2020 Rafał Trzaskowski 5,917,340 30.5 (#2) 10,018,263 48.9 (#2)

Regional assemblies

Election year % of
# of
overall seats won
2002 12.1 (#4)
79 / 561
In coalition with Law and Justice (POPiS).
2006 27.2 (#1)
186 / 561
2010 30.9 (#1)
222 / 561
Increase 36
2014 26.3 (#2)
179 / 555
Decrease 43
2018 27.1 (#2)
194 / 552
Increase 15
As a Civic Coalition.

European Parliament

Election year # of
% of
# of
overall seats won
2004 1,467,775 24.1 (#1)
15 / 54
2009 3,271,852 44.4 (#1)
25 / 50
Increase 10
2014 2,271,215 32.1 (#1)
19 / 51
Decrease 6
2019 5,249 935 38,47 (#2)
14 / 51
Decrease 5
As a European Coalition

Voivodeship Marshals

Name Image Voivodeship Date Vocation
Elżbieta Polak
Elzbieta Polak.JPG
Lubusz Voivodeship 29 November 2010
Marek Woźniak
Marek Wozniak 546.JPG
Greater Poland Voivodeship 10 October 2005
Piotr Całbecki
Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship 24 January 2006
Olgierd Geblewicz
Olgierd Geblewicz fran Parliamentary Forum of the Southern Baltic Sea talar vid BSPC-s mote i Visby 2008-09-01.jpg
West Pomeranian Voivodeship 7 December 2010
Mieczysław Struk
Mieczysław Struk (2010).JPG
Pomeranian Voivodeship 22 February 2010
Andrzej Buła
Andrzej Buła.jpg
Opole Voivodeship 12 November 2013

Notable politicians

See also


  1. ^ The party is officially the Civic Platform of the Republic of Poland (Platforma Obywatelska Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej).
  2. ^ a b Some sources have described PO as having shifted from the centre-right to the centre.[2]


  1. ^ "Wniosek o udostępnienie informacji publicznej". Imgur. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  2. ^ Szczerbiak, Aleks (30 November 2016). "An anti-establishment backlash that shook up the party system? The October 2015 Polish parliamentary election". European Politics and Society. 18 (4): 404–427. doi:10.1080/23745118.2016.1256027. As discussed below, under Mr Tusk's leadership, Civic Platform turned from being a centre-right liberal-conservative party into an ideologically eclectic centrist grouping...
  3. ^ "BBC News (2007-10-22): Massive win for Polish opposition".
  4. ^ a b c Warsaw Business Journal Archived 20 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Elections 2011 - Election results". National Electoral Commission. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  6. ^ "Pkw | Pkw". Archived from the original on 24 August 2014. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  7. ^ "Oficjalne wyniki wyborów samorządowych. Zobacz, kto wygrał". Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  8. ^ Jęczmionka, Paulina. "Oficjalne wyniki wyborów 2015: Bronisław Komorowski wziął Poznań i Wielkopolskę [INFOGRAFIKA]". (in Polish). Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  9. ^ "Wybory parlamentarne 2015. PKW podała ostateczne wyniki". Onet Wiadomości (in Polish). 27 October 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  10. ^ "Znamy wyniki wyborów! Relacja na żywo. Wybory samorządowe 2018". 20 October 2018. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  11. ^ "Oficjalne wyniki wyborów do europarlamentu". Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  12. ^ PO has often been described as centrist:
  13. ^ PO has often been described as centre-right:
  14. ^
  15. ^ a b Marjorie Castle (2015). "Poland". In M. Donald Hancock; Christopher J. Carman; Marjorie Castle; David P. Conradt; Raffaella Y. Nanetti; Robert Leonardi; William Safran; Stephen White (eds.). Politics in Europe. CQ Press. p. 636. ISBN 978-1-4833-2305-3.
  16. ^
  17. ^ José Magone (2010). Contemporary European Politics: A Comparative Introduction. Routledge. p. 457. ISBN 978-0-203-84639-1. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  18. ^ "Poland's PiS smashes opposition in European election vote". POLITICO. 26 May 2019. Retrieved 27 December 2021.
  19. ^ "Poland's government". The Irish Times. Retrieved 27 December 2021.
  20. ^ Kamiński, Paweł; Rozbicka, Patrycja (2016). "Political Parties and Trade Unions in the Post-Communist Poland: Class Politics that Have Never a Chance to Happen" (PDF).((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  21. ^ Shields, Stuart (April 2012). "Opposing Neoliberalism? Poland's renewed populism and post-communist transition". Third World Quarterly. 33 (2): 359–381. doi:10.1080/01436597.2012.666016. ISSN 0143-6597.
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Explainer: Whatever happened to Polish liberal conservatives?". Polandin.
  24. ^ Szczepański, Jarosław (2015). Raport z badania : trójkąt ideologiczny. Uniwersytet Warszawski. Wydział Dziennikarstwa i Nauk Politycznych. Warszawa: Wydział Dziennikarstwa i Nauk Politycznych UW. ISBN 978-83-63183-98-1. OCLC 939904795.
  25. ^ "Is Poland's Civic Platform a serious threat to the ruling party?". EUROPP. 4 May 2017. Retrieved 27 December 2021.
  26. ^ Riishøj, Søren (2011). "The Civic Platform in Poland - the first decade 2001-2011" (PDF). University of Southern Denmark. ISSN 1399-7319. Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 December 2021.
  27. ^ Szczerbiak, Aleks (18 January 2016). "What Are The Prospects For Poland's Opposition?". Social Europe. Retrieved 27 December 2021.
  28. ^ Ingo Peters (2011). 20 Years Since the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Transitions, State Break-Up and Democratic Politics in Central Europe and Germany. BWV Verlag. p. 280. ISBN 978-3-8305-1975-1. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  29. ^ "Platforma Obywatelska przedstawia nowe stanowisko w sprawie aborcji". Onet Wiadomości (in Polish). 18 February 2021. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  30. ^ "Premier na Kongresie Kobiet: przeciw radykalnym rozwiązaniom". Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  31. ^ "Rzeczpospolita". 8 March 2010. Archived from the original on 27 September 2014. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
  32. ^ "ząd podwyższa akcyzę i zamraża płace". 2 October 2013. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
  33. ^ "Rząd zaciska pasa: zamraża pensje, podnosi akcyzę na papierosy i paliwa". 23 October 2011. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
  34. ^ "Dziś dowiemy się, dlaczego rząd zabierze nam ulgi". 26 July 2012. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
  35. ^ Sebastian Bobrowski (25 March 2014). "Zmiany w odliczaniu VAT od samochodów. Sprawdź ile i kiedy możesz odliczyć". Archived from the original on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
  36. ^ "Głosowanie nad przyjęciem w całości projektu ustawy o zmianie niektórych ustaw związanych z realizacją ustawy budżetowej, w brzmieniu proponowanym przez Komisję Finansów Publicznych, wraz z przyjętymi poprawkami". 16 December 2011. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
  37. ^ "Poland coal phase out pledged for 2040 by opposition government". Retrieved 12 October 2019.
  38. ^ "Trzaskowski: 500 plus musi być bronione".
  39. ^ "Program Partii Platforma Obywatelska".
  40. ^ "Partie i kandydaci".