RCIN and OZwRCIN projects


Title: Zachowania wyborcze mieszkańców polskiej wsi = Electoral behaviour of Poland’s rural population


Przegląd Geograficzny T. 81 z. 4 (2009)



Place of publishing:



24 cm

Type of object:



Since 1991, the observed parliamentary elections in Poland have been characterized by great spatial diversity in terms of support for individual political options. Among these options, it is possible to distinguish the right and the elitarian groupings deriving from the 1980’s opposition to the communist authorities, as well as the peasant and left camps to a large extent based around circles linked with the former system. The aforementioned options form two axes of division: an ideological one (left and right), and a socio-economic one (the peasant and elitarian camps). In the five investigated parliamentary elections (of 1993, 1997, 2001, 2005, 2007), it was mostly the peasant option and, to a lesser degree, the right-of-centre and left-of-centre parties that enjoyed widespread support from the rural population, with the elitarians only receiving much more limited backing. In general terms, the population from east-central Poland showed a preference for the peasant option; inhabitants living in the south and partly in the north (the Podlasie and Kaszuby regions) opted for the right, while western Poland supported the left. Among factors responsible for electoral behaviour, the population’s socio-professional profile and historical and cultural conditioning as broadly conceived are of primary significance. Differentiation of these factors has been shaped down the centuries. The period of the Partitions, which took place at a time of fundamental socio-economic transformation related to the transition from the agrarian to the industrial era, was of particular importance. Also crucial was the post-war shift in Poland’s borders, and the ensuing population migration; as well as changes in the system of ownership. The electoral behaviour of some regional groups forming distinct “islands” make it difficult to offer an unequivocal assessment of the major factors influencing electoral preferences. Nevertheless, the studies carried out indicate that there are clear connections between these factors, and that these relations are much stronger in rural areas than in towns or cities. The traditional forms of ownership (including individual farms) are conducive to the maintenance of traditional social structures, thus supporting cultural traditionalism. The profound economic transformations characteristic of Prussian industrialization, subsequently strengthened by the system under the Polish People’s Republic (nationalised agriculture) proved conducive to the erosion of traditional peasant culture.


1. Agnew J., 1996, Mapping politics: how context counts in electoral geography, Political Geography, 15, 2, s. 129–146.
2. Bański J., 2007, Geografia rolnictwa Polski, PWE, Warszawa.
3. Bański J., 2008, Polska i Europa Środkowo-Wschodnia w koncepcjach podziału Europy, [w:] P. Eberhardt (red.), Problematyka geopolityczna ziem polskich, Prace Geograficzne, IGiPZ PAN, 218, Warszawa, s. 121–134.
4. Bański J., Stola W., 2002, Przemiany struktury przestrzennej i funkcjonalnej obszarów wiejskich w Polsce, Studia Obszarów Wiejskich, 3, PTG, IGiPZ PAN, Warszawa.
5. Bartkowski J., 2003, Tradycja i polityka. Wpływ tradycji kulturowych polskich regionów na współczesne zachowania społeczne i polityczne, Wydawnictwo Akademickie Żak", Warszawa.
6. Bell J., 1997, Unemployment matters: voting patterns during the economic transition in Poland, 1990–1995, Europe Asia Studies, 49, 7, s. 1263–1291.
7. Blount S., 2002, Unemployment and economic voting, Electoral Studies, 21, 1, s. 91–100.
8. van der Brug W., Franklin M., Toka G., 2008, One electorate or many? Differences in party preference formation between new and established European democracies, Electoral Studies, 27, 4, s. 589–600.
9. Brustein W., 1996, Mapping politics: how mode of production counts in electoral geography, Political Geography, 15, 2, s. 153–158.
10. Downs W.M., Miller R.V., 2006, The 2004 presidential and parliamentary elections in Romania, Electoral Studies, 25, 2, s. 409–415.
11. Duch R., 1995, Economic chaos and the fragility of democratic transition in former communist regimes, Journal of Politics, 57, 1, s. 121–158.
12. Fauvelle-Aymar Ch., Stegmaier M., 2008, Economic and political effects on European Parliamentary electoral turnout in post-communist Europe, Electoral Studies, 27, 4, s. 661–672.
13. Dudek A., 1997, Pierwsze lata III Rzeczypospolitej, Wydawnictwo Geo, Kraków.
14. Florczyk A., Żukowski T., 1990, Nowa geografia polityczna Polski, [w:] L. Kolarska-Bobińska, P. Łukasiewicz, Z.W. Rykowski (red.), Wyniki badań – wyniki wyborów 4 czerwca 1989, PTS, Warszawa.
15. Fidrmuc J., 2000, Economics of voting in post-communist countries, Electoral Studies, 19, 2–3, s. 199–217.
16. Garber I., Bjornlund E. (red.), 1992, The New Democratic Frontier: A Country by Country Report on Election in Central and Eastern Europe, National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, Washington, DC.
17. Howard M.M., 2002, The Weakness of Civil Society in Post-Communist Europe, Cambridge University Press, New York.
18. Jackson J.E., Klich J., Poznanska K., 2005, The Political Economy of Poland's Transition: New Firms and Reform Governments, Cambridge University Press, New York.
19. Johnson R., 2002, Manipulating maps and winning elections: measuring the impact of malapportionment and gerrymandering, Political Geography, 21, 1, s. 1–31.
20. Jurkynas M., 2005, The 2004 presidential and parliamentary elections in Lithuania, Electoral Studies, 24, 4, s. 770–777.
21. Koulov B., 1995, Geography of electoral preferences: the 1990 Great National Assembly elections In Bulgaria, Political Geography, 13, 3, s. 241–258.
22. Kovac Z., Dingsdale A., 1998, Whither East European democracies? The geography of the 1994 Hungarian parliamentary election, Political Geography, 17, 4, s. 437–458.
23. Kowalski M., 1998, Wyznanie a preferencje wyborcze mieszkańców Białostocczyzny (1990–1997), Przegląd Geograficzny, 70, 3–4, s. 269–282.
24. Kowalski M., 2000, Geografia wyborcza Polski: Zróżnicowanie przestrzenne zachowań wyborczych Polaków w okresie 1989–1998, Geopolitical Studies, 7, IGiPZ PAN, Warszawa.
25. Kowalski M., 2002, Wybory Prezydenckie 2000. Wybory Parlamentarne 2001, plansza 75.6 [w:] Atlas Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej, Główny Geodeta Kraju-IGiPZ PAN, Warszawa.
26. Kowalski M., 2003, Polaryzacja zachowań wyborczych w Polsce jako rezultat cywilizacyjnego rozdarcia kraju, [w:] M. Kowalski (red.), Przestrzeń wyborcza Polski, Oddział Akademicki PTG, IGiPZ PAN, Warszawa, s. 11–48.
27. Kowalski M., 2004, Spatial differentiation of European Referendum results in Poland, [w:] J. Kitowski (red.), Central and Eastern Europe at the Threshold of the European Union – An Opening Balance, Geopolitical Studies, 12, IGiPZ PAN, Warszawa, s. 307–322.
28. Mughan A., 1987, The 'hip pocket nerve' and electoral volatility in Australia and Great Britain, Politics, 22, 2, s. 66–75.
29. OECD Regional Typology, 2009, Directorate for Public Governance and Territorial Development, http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/35/62/42392595.pdf (18.05.2009).
30. Pacek A., 1994, Macroeconomic conditions and electoral politics in East Central Europe, American Journal of Political Science, 38, 3, s. 723–744.
31. Powers D.V., Cox, J.H., 1997, Echoes from the past: the relationship between satisfaction with economic reforms and voting behavior in Poland, American Political Science Review, 91, 3, s. 617–633.
32. Przeworski A., 1996, Public support for economic reforms in Poland, Comparative Political Studies, 29, 5, s. 520–543.
33. Raciborski J., 1997, Polskie wybory. Zachowania wyborcze społeczeństwa polskiego w latach 1989–1995, Wydawnictwo Naukowe Scholar, Warszawa.
34. Roberts A., 2008, Hyperaccountability: Economic voting in Central and Eastern Europe, Electoral Studies, 27, 3, s. 533–547.
35. Secor A.J., 2001, Ideologies in crisis: political cleavages and electoral politics in Turkey in the 1990s, Political Geography, 20, 4, s. 539–560.
36. Shelley F.M., 2002, The Electoral College and the election of 2000, Political Geography, 21, 1, s. 79–83.
37. Stigler G.J., 1973, Micropolitics and macroeconomics: general economic conditions and national elections, American Economic Review, 63 (Suppl.), s. 160–167.
38. Stokes S. (red.), 2001, Public Support for Market Reforms in New Democracies, Cambridge University Press, New York.
39. Tucker J., 2006, Regional Economic Voting: Russia, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia, 1990–1999, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
40. Tworzecki H., 2003, Learning to Choose: Electoral Politics in East-Central Europe, Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA.
41. Zarycki T., 1997, Nowa przestrzeń społeczno-polityczna Polski, Studia Regionalne i Lokalne, 23 (56), Europejski Instytut Rozwoju Regionalnego i Lokalnego UW, Warszawa.
42. Zarycki T., 1998, Zachowania wyborcze polskiej wsi w podziale na regiony historyczne – Niejednoznaczność interpretacji i nieadekwatność narzędzi teoretycznych, Przegląd Socjologiczny, 47, 2, Łódzkie Towarzystwo Naukowe, Łódź.
43. Żukowski T., 1993, Polska scena polityczna, [w:] S. Gebethner (red.), Polska scena polityczna a wybory, Wydawnictwo Fundacji Inicjatyw Społecznych Polska w Europie", Warszawa.


Przegląd Geograficzny





Start page:


End page:


Detailed Resource Type:



File size 1,3 MB ; application/pdf

Resource Identifier:

oai:rcin.org.pl:55574 ; 0033-2143 ; 10.7163/PrzG.2009.1.3


CBGiOS. IGiPZ PAN, sygn.: Cz.181, Cz.3136, Cz.4187 ; click here to follow the link



Language of abstract:



Rights Reserved - Free Access

Terms of use:

Copyright-protected material. May be used within the limits of statutory user freedoms

Digitizing institution:

Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization of the Polish Academy of Sciences

Original in:

Central Library of Geography and Environmental Protection. Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization PAS

Projects co-financed by:

Programme Innovative Economy, 2010-2014, Priority Axis 2. R&D infrastructure ; European Union. European Regional Development Fund



Object collections:

Last modified:

Aug 19, 2021

In our library since:

Jul 29, 2015

Number of object content hits:


All available object's versions:


Show description in RDF format:


Show description in OAI-PMH format:




Citation style:

This page uses 'cookies'. More information