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Ukrainians crave new political forces, and the call will be answered

April 21, 2010

The latest study by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation think tank of electoral moods in March and April showed a striking result: it implies that a third of the population does not support any of the political forces currently in parliament.

A quarter of the population does not support any of the faction, and another 8.4 percent of the population don’t know who they would support in an election.

Of the rest of the voters, 42.8 percent are ready to vote for the Party of the Regions, 15.7 percent support Yulia Tymoshenko’s Bloc, the Communists – is supported by 3.5 percent, Our Ukraine-Self Defense - by 2.5 percent, while Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn’s Bloc – by 1.8 percent.
Compared with the latest parliamentary election result in 2007, the Party of Regions increased their support base significantly, while the rest of the political forces lost many voters.

Results of 2007 election vs voter moods in March-April 2010



Party


2007, percent


2010, percent


Party of Regions


34.37


42.8


Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko


30.7


15.7


Our Ukraine-Self Defense


14.15


2.5


Communist Party


5.39


3.5


Volodymyr Lytvyn Block


3.96


1.8


Poll conducted on March 19-April2 among a representative sample of 1,226 Ukrainians aged 18 amd over. The margin of error is 3 percent.

Source: Democratic Initiatives Foundation

The deepest crisis and need for renovation is felt in the national democratic camp and among the youth. Both parties in parliament representing this camp, BYuT and Our Ukraine-Self Defense have lost the majority of their support.

The regions that have traditionally supported national democratic forces have the highest numbers of voter who support none of the current factions in parliament. Thus, this part of the political spectrum shows a substantial niche and opportunity for new faces and new ideas to get into politics.

Breakdown of voter support by the regions


Factions in parliament


West


Center and North-East


South and South-East


Donbass and Crimea


Ukraine


Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko


32.2


22.6


5.5


3.4


15.7


Party of Regions


15.0


27.3


57.6


72.5


42.8


Volodymyr Lytvyn Block


1.4


2.6


1.4


1.4


1.8


Our Ukraine-Self-Defense


8.7


1.7


0.7


.0.5


2.5


Communist Party


0


3.5


2.6


8.0


3.5


None of the above


34.1


30.6


24.2


10.3


25.3


No answer


8.6


11.7


8.0


3.8


8.4


Poll conducted on March 19-April2 among a representative sample of 1,226 Ukrainians aged 18 amd over. The margin of error is 3 percent.

Source: Democratic Initiatives Foundation

 
The Party of Regions gained a lot of support – it stands at all-time high, even higher than Viktor Yanukovych got in the first round of the presidential election earlier this year, and significantly higher than the result they showed in 2007.

 

The blue-and-white camp have an unprecedented concentration of power in their hands, including the hands of the president, Cabinet and parliament. They are carrying a lot of responsibility for the future of the state. But the logic of political process can lead this political party to apportionment, breaking down into smaller factions. New powerful political forces and new brands can appear within it.

In the case of an early parliamentary election the current Speaker Lytvyn’s bloc might not make it into parliament across the three-percent threshold. It’s also doubtful whether Our Ukraine-Self Defense will cross the threshold , or rather become a part of political history

The Communist party might not make it into parliament either because the age of its supporters throws doubts on the long-term prospect for its existence. The Communists are losing clout due to high mortality rate in Ukraine. This political brand is facing a hard time.

The young voters aged 18-29, who have formed in the years of independent Ukraine, have the highest number of those who support none of the current political forces in parliament, around 41 percent (including 33.7 percent of those against all and 7.5 percent who are undecided).

The new generation does not have anyone representing their interests in the current political environment, and will look for someone new.

Breakdown of voter support by age


Factions in parliament


18-29


30-54


55 and older


Total


Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko


14.9


15.2


16.6


15.7


Party of Regions


38.9


40.4


48.0


42.8


Volodymyr Lytvyn Block


2.0


1.0


2.5


1.8


Our Ukraine-Self-Defense


2.4


2.6


2.5


2.5


Communist Party


0.5


2.1


7.0


3.5


None of the above


33.7


28.6


16.3


25.3


No answer


7.5


10.1


7.1


8.4

Poll conducted on March 19-April2 among a representative sample of 1,226 Ukrainians aged 18 amd over. The margin of error is 3 percent.

Source: Democratic Initiatives Foundation

Despite all difficulties and flaws, Ukraine has been demonstated the highest democratic achievements in the Commonwealth of Independent States.
We have conducted a number of election recognized by the world community as honest and just. Our major goal, European integration, remains the same. But it’s obvious that the country needs major repairs.


We have to start closing the gap between all aspects of lives of the Ukrainians and the European standards. In particular, we need to create a better system of parliament representation, and ease the conditions for arrival to parliament of new political forces.

Iko Kucheriv is the director of Democratic Initiatives Foundation, Iryna Bekeshkina is the chief scientific manager of the same foundation.

http://www.kyivpost.com/news/opinion/op_ed/detail/64473/


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