The Baltic Region

2016 Issue №4

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Geography of Electoral Volatility in the Warmia and Mazury Voivodeship of Poland

DOI
10.5922/2079-8555-2016-4-5
Pages
61-68

Abstract

The authors describe the impact of administrative reforms on the electoral volatility in the Warmia and Mazury voivodeship of Poland. The administrative reforms resulted in the formation of a new territorial organization of power. Using three large administrative units of Poland as an example, the authors analyse the experience of the formation of a geographic region by merging several politically diverse territories. The merger took place in a changing political environment. It inevitably affected the strategy and tactics of the development of local self-governance. The formation of the region has been going on in such a manner that differences in the electoral preferences and political behaviour of the urban population (the regional metropolis) and the periphery remain unchanged. Having performed the index analysis and a comparative analysis of the electoral data, the authors conclude that the consistency of administrative decisions on the formation of the region and the electoral performance have been weakening over time. During the initial phase, the electoral volatility was mainly due to the sluggishness and inertia of the previous territorial organization. After the phase of stabilization, the electoral volatility indices in different geographical areas changed due to a combination of social and political factors. The authors show that the ‘looseness’ of the Polish party system affect the electoral volatility in the region more than institutional decisions of the administrative reforms.

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