World News

Polish PM questions credibility of polls showing government slide

Poland's Prime Minister Beata Szydlo holds a news conference at the end of a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium, March 10, 2017. REUTERS/Yves Herman

WARSAW (Reuters) - Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo on Tuesday shrugged off opinion polls showing sliding support for her Law and Justice (PiS) party since the government tried and failed to stop political rival Donald Tusk being reappointed to a top EU post.

Support for PiS fell 5 percentage points to 29 percent in an IBRiS poll published on Monday, while Tusk’s Civic Platform was up 10 points to 27 percent.

On Tuesday, Rzeczpospolita daily published research by the same pollster showing 62 percent of Poles had a negative view of Szydlo, while 56.5 percent were critical of PiS-backed President Andrzej Duda.

“My conclusions from these two polls are that they are of low credibility,” Szydlo told private broadcaster Polsat News.

A number of previous surveys had shown stable support for PiS at around 35 percent.

Tusk, a former Polish prime minister and longstanding rival of PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski, was reappointed as chairman of European Union summit meetings earlier this month despite an attempt by Warsaw to replace him with another Polish candidate.

Tusk’s Civic Platform party hopes he may return to Poland after his EU stint and become its candidate for the next presidential election in 2020.

Reporting by Marcin Goclowski; Editing by Lidia Kelly and Mark Trevelyan