Polish legislative election, 1985

Polish legislative election, 1985
13 October 1985 (1985-10-13)

All 460 seats in the Sejm
  Majority party Minority party
Leader Wojciech Jaruzelski Roman Malinowski
Party PZPR United People's Party
Leader since October 18, 1981 1981
Last election 261 113
Seats won 245 106
Seat change Decrease16 Decrease 7
Percentage 55.4% 25.4%
Swing 0 0

  Third party Fourth party
Leader Independent Tadeusz Witold Młyńczak
Party Independent SD
Leader since 1976
Last election 49 37
Seats won 74 39
Seat change Increase 25 Increase 2
Percentage 10.7% 8.5%
Swing 0 0

Parliamentary elections were held in Poland on 13 October 1985.[1] According to the Constitution of 1952 the elections should have been held every 4 years, that is in the spring of 1984, but since the internal political situation was still considered "unstable" even after the repealing in 1983 of the Martial Law, the Sejm voted to extend its own term at first indefinitely (on February 13, 1984) and then until August 31, 1985 (on December 3, 1984), fixing the elections to be held not beyond the end of 1985. As was the case in previous elections, only candidates approved by the Communist regime (coalesced under the Patriotic Movement for National Rebirth, replacing the similar Front of National Unity) were permitted on the ballot. The outcome was thus not in doubt, nevertheless the regime was hoping for a high turnout, which it could then claim as evidence of strong support for the government among the population. The opposition from the Solidarity movement called for a boycott of the elections. According to official figures 78.9% of the electorate turned out to vote.[2] This turnout, while relatively high, was much lower than the nearly 100% turnout which was reported in previous elections.

The results, like with the other elections in communist Poland, were controlled by the communist government. The results of the 1985 election were duplicating, exactly, the results of the 1965 to 1972 elections, which were only marginally different from those of the preceding years.

It was the last election in Communist Poland in which no real opposition candidates were allowed to participate. The following election in 1989, in which opposition parties could put up candidates for a portion of the seats, resulted in a convincing opposition victory followed by the downfall of the Communist system.


Party Votes % Seats +/–
Front of National UnityPolish United Workers' Party 245–16
United People's Party106–7
Democratic Party35–2
Blank ballots
Invalid votes65,096
Registered voters/turnout26,065,49778.9
Source: Nohlen & Stöver

As the other parties and "independents" were in fact subordinate to PZPR, its control of the Sejm was, in fact, total.[3][4]


  1. Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p1491 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. Nohlen & Stöver, p1503
  3. Andrzej Paczkowski; Jane Cave (2003). The spring will be ours: Poland and the Poles from occupation to freedom. Penn State Press. p. 229. ISBN 978-0-271-02308-3. Retrieved 3 June 2011.
  4. Norman Davies (May 2005). God's Playground: 1795 to the present. Columbia University Press. p. 459. ISBN 978-0-231-12819-3. Retrieved 3 June 2011.

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