To a backdrop of hard rock and fireworks, the hundreds of people gathered in the Polish city of Olsztyn on a hot late August weekend liked what they heard: Hardworking Poles deserve a “house, a garden, a grill, two cars and a vacation” — and the current political leaders can’t deliver.
The message from the Confederation Liberty and Independence party to its supporters may be simple, but for Poland it could get complicated. With double-digit support in the polls, the upstart alliance looks set to sway the outcome of what promises to be one of the tightest elections since the end of communism.
The popularity of a party that opposes immigration, abortion and the COVID-19 lockdowns is not just a Polish phenomenon. Disruptors from the far-right are gaining traction across Europe, profiting from a groundswell of resentment born out of the pandemic, a cost-of-living crisis and the economic toll from the war in Ukraine.