Paul G. Lewis and Radzislawa Gortat, "Models of Party
Development and Questions of State Dependence in Poland,"
Party Politics , 1 (October, 1995),
The outcome of the 1993 election was the occasion for a
reappraisal of the prospects for party development in
Poland. This time a minimum 5 percent threshold was imposed
with the intention of avoiding the excessive representation
of parties and degree of parliamentary fragmentation seen
after the 1991 election. Only six national political
groupings received parliamentary representation, and all of
the conventional political right was excluded.
Figures and Tables:
Table 1: Reported party membership, 1991-5.
Table 2: Expenditure during 1993 election (million
In this sense, the current role of the Polish state in
supporting the major parliamentary parties means that the
doubts that have been expressed about the future of the mass
party are of less practical importance - even for the only
party that can lay claim to a mass membership. Nevertheless,
such financial support remains dependent on electoral
success, and a high level of membership and extensive
organizational structure may well be a condition for
effective action in this respect. The experience of the
fragmented, weakly organized parties on the Polish right
certainly warns against neglecting the role of more
traditional sources of party strength.