The text presents a comparative analysis of participation of Poles residing abroad in national elections in Poland (both parliamentary and presidential) over the last two decades (1990-2011). There were seven parliamentary and five presidential elections in Poland during this period. The text contains a detailed analysis of particular elections based on the State Electoral Commission database, including the number of registered voters and votes cast abroad, the turnout level and the number of polling stations established out of Poland. Taking into account the long-term trends, there is a noticeable increase in the number of votes cast abroad in state elections after 2004. This is a direct effect of the growing number of Poles living abroad after Poland's accession to the EU, but it is also due to the fact that diaspora became an important target group for political elites and media during the electoral campaigns. Thus, the changing number of votes cast abroad has been influenced by various factors related on the one hand to the socio-political situation and, on the other - to the elections organization process, including the voter's registration scheme, the number of polling stations established abroad and the system of voting. The political preferences of Polish voters abroad are different from the population voting in the country. Additionally, when the political parties' support is examined, there are visible differences between Poles residing in American and European countries. The text consists of three main parts. The first presents general trends in electoral participation of Poles abroad in national elections. In the second part, there is a detailed data analysis (both qualitative and quantitative) of all elections (presidential and parliamentary) in the years 1990-2011. The concluding part summarizes the internal and external factors which determine the dynamics of the participation level of Poles abroad in national elections.
electoral participation Polish diaspora and Poles abroad parliamentary and presidential elections voting abroad