Mind the Gap: Polish Constitutional Courts’ Perception Before and After 2015 Constitutional Crisis

The general public’s attitude towards the Constitutional Tribunal before 2015 had been characterized by (i) low awareness and (ii) high propensity to give it the benefit of the doubt. As a consequence, it enjoyed very high ratio of positive to negative opinions, despite the fact that nearly half of the respondents failed to form any categorical opinion on its performance. In this profile it resembled other technocratic governance institutions like the Monetary Policy Council, Supreme Audit Office or Ombudsman. However, as constitutional crisis of 2015 erupted, both characteristics changed substantially. Unaware public shrunk, and goodwill disappeared – with negative opinions dominating positive ones. In that respect, ‘new’ CT became similar to the purely political bodies like chambers of the parliament. Drawing on representative CBOS surveys carried out over 2012-2021, paper documents this shift, disaggregating it into the bubbles of conservatives, liberals and undecided.