The opposition promptly called for new polls to clear the air but the conservative Kaczynskis initially tried to save the coalition by persuading Lepper's Self Defence party to abandon their leader and stay in government.

But Self Defence has refused to budge and threatened to leave the government at the next sitting of parliament on August 22, prompting the Kaczynskis to signal they would rather face voters than run a shaky minority coalition.

Dissolving parliament two years ahead of schedule would require a two-thirds majority in the lower house, meaning it would need the consent of Kaczynskis' Law and Justice and opposition parties.