Left Menu
Development News Edition

Pro-EU opposition takes big lead after Church abuse scandal - poll

Reuters | Updated: 17-05-2019 18:25 IST | Created: 17-05-2019 15:34 IST
Pro-EU opposition takes big lead after Church abuse scandal - poll
Image Credit: Pixabay

Poland's pro-EU opposition has a 10-point lead over the ruling nationalists ahead of European Parliament elections, a survey showed on Friday, a sharp turnaround that some analysts linked to a film about sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church. The documentary "Just don't tell anyone", which shows victims of child abuse confronting priests who had sexually abused them, has shocked Poles. The powerful Catholic Church has close ties with the governing Law and Justice party (PiS).

The European Coalition, which comprises pro-Europeans from across the political spectrum, would win 43.6% and PiS 32.9% in the May 26 election, according to the poll, conducted on May 14-16 by the Institute for Research into Public Affairs (IBSP) for Newsweek and Radio Zet. Most previous opinion polls have put PiS, which takes a conservative stance on social and moral issues while favouring a bigger state role in the economy, in the lead for both the EU election and for a national election due later in 2019.

The drop in support for PiS ahead of the EU elections is linked to the strong emotions stirred up by the documentary, said Lukasz Pawlowski from the Polish Nationwide Research Group, to which IBSP belongs. "The biggest drops are observed in the group of voters who are not closely associated with the Church. Evidently, the outflow is related to the subject of the priests' scandal and favours the European Coalition," he told Newsweek, adding that smaller right-wing parties had also seen their support increase.

These include the far-right Confederation party, whose support grew by five percentage points in the space of a week to hit 6.9 percent, the survey showed. The sex abuse documentary has been viewed more than 18 million times on YouTube since it was released last Saturday.

PiS has responded to the public outcry by announcing tougher penalties for child abuse but it has also stressed that the instances of abuse by priests should not be used as a reason to attack the Catholic Church. PiS sees Catholicism as a key element of Poles' national identity. Liberal Poles say the Church is too powerful.

Izabela Styczynska, the president of Warsaw-based think tank the Center for Social and Economic Research (CASE), said negative perceptions of PiS and the Church had increased following the film, but added: "The question is - will this last?" Not all analysts were convinced by the survey's findings.

"I don't doubt that support for PiS is falling... but I don't know if it would be by as much as 10 percentage points," said Anna Materska-Sosnowska, a political scientist at Warsaw University, adding the poll results appeared "exaggerated". (Reporting by Alan Charlish Editing by Gareth Jones)


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

‘Discounted Deaths’ and COVID 19: Anthropology of Death and Emotions

Death is a social event rather than the mere cessation of biological functions. As seen by anthropologists, death is not just physical but intensely social, cultural, and political....

Indigenous knowledge of communities a must for maximizing impact of community work

Generally, it has been observed that the majority of the academicians in higher education institutions neglect the wisdom of community people and throw their weight around thinking that they know everything and the community knows nothing. ...

In rebuking FBR, Pakistan’s courts take a stand for public health

The system, if implemented effectively, will allow Pakistans revenue service to combat the illicit trade in tobacco products and potentially add hundreds of millions of dollars to the states budget each year. ...

Dissecting how COVID-19 is catalyzing the trajectory of New World Order

The ensuing pandemic of COVID-19 has hit the globalization in two ways firstly, shrinking the importance of globalization as an economic force by curtailing mobility through worldwide lockdowns, and secondly, rejuvenating the idea of indig...

Videos

Latest News

U.S. caps charter flights to Cuba at 3,600 per year -- agency

The U.S. Transportation Department said Thursday it will cap charter flights to Cuba at 3,600 per year as the Trump administration moves to curb the Cuban governments access to revenue.The departments final order came in response to request...

Spain aims to convince Nissan to change mind on Barcelona plant, hopes Renault stays

Spain will do everything it can to get Nissan to reverse its decision to close its Barcelona plant, Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya said on Thursday. Leaving the country would be expensive for the Japanese carmaker, Gonzalez Laya als...

Olympics-IOC says record high female representation on commissions

The International Olympic Committee IOC says women now account for almost half of the membership of its various commissions, an all-time high in the organisations drive for gender equality. Across the 30 IOC commissions, 47.7 of the positio...

China has over 600 million poor with USD 140 monthly income: Premier Li

China has over 600 million people whose monthly income is barely 1,000 yuan USD 140 and their lives have further been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday. The average per-capita annual income in China i...

Give Feedback