The Political Situation and Electoral Orientations of the Ukrainian Population: Dynamics and Forecasts

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


On January 3rd 2019 at 12.00 the news agency “Interfax-Ukraine” held a press conference on the results of a poll jointly carried out from the 16th to the 22nd December 2018 by the “Social Monitoring” center and the “Ukrainian Institute for Social Research named after A. Yaremenko”.

The poll covered the whole territory of the country (excluding the “temporarily occupied territories of the Lugansk and Donetsk regions and Crimea”). The sample is representative of age (population aged 18 and older), gender, type of settlement, and region. A total of 2,045 respondents were polled. Standard deviation at a reliable 95% does not exceed 2.2%. The level of cooperation of respondents is 57%. The method of obtaining information was an individual face-to-face interview at the place of residence of the respondent.

Assessment of the situation in the country

The overwhelming majority of the respondents believe that the country continues to move in the wrong direction (68.3%), with only 19.4% having the opposite opinion (12.3% were undecided).

Two thirds of respondents believe that the country needs radical changes today (63.7%). That everything remained as there are 14.1%, another 14.9% believe that it was better before (7.3% were not determined).

18.2% believe that “Ukraine today needs more freedom and democracy, even if it leads to a lack of order”, and 69.8% have the opinion that “Ukraine needs more order today, even if it will have to impose some restrictions on democratic principles and freedoms”.

The most worrying problems for Ukrainians today are the military conflict in the East of Ukraine (58% of those polled); low wages and pensions (57%); tariff increase for utilities (52%); rise in prices for basic goods and inflation (35.9%); unemployment and lack of work (25.2%); bribery and corruption in the government (23.3%); as well as the inability to obtain quality medical care (17%).

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The introduction of martial law in the country was supported by 24.9% of respondents, with 64.8% not supporting it. At the same time, only 14.1% believed that the introduction of martial law helped to resolve the conflict in the East of the country, with 71.9% believing that it didn’t help.

According to respondents, the introduction of martial law in the country did not in any way affect their desire to vote in the presidential elections in 2019 (78.2%).

Presidential elections – 2019

77.8% of those polled said they were ready to come to the ballot boxes during the presidential elections. 17.8% of respondents consider that they definitely will not vote, 4.9% have not made their mind up or refused to answer.

If the presidential elections was held next week, the level of support for the first five candidates would be as follows: Yuliya Tymoshenko – 13.4% among all (18.6% of those who determined that they will vote), Vladimir Zelensky – 10.8% (15%), Boyko – 8.5% (11.8%), Anatoly Gritsenko – 8.1% (11.2%), and Petro Poroshenko – 7.7% (10.7%). I.e., there is a clear leader and four candidates who will fight for the chance to go to the second round.

Poroshenko P. (51.9% would never vote for him), Tymoshenko Yu. (28.9%), Boyko Yu. (24.8%), and Lyashko O. (22.8%) today have the greatest anti-rating [the opposite of an approval rating – ed].

A. Gritsenko (7.6%), V. Zelensky (6.5%), and Y. Tymoshenko (5.5%) have the greatest potential for increasing their approval rating (they were named as the second possible candidate who respondents will vote for).

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The main features that the next President must possess is the ability to stop the war (55.9%), defend the interests of ordinary people (44.5%), competence in the economy (44.1%), an intolerance to corruption (44%), and the ability to govern the country (40.1%).

Parliamentary elections – 2019

76.6% of respondents said that they would be ready to take part in the elections to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine; 18.2% indicated that they were not ready; another 5.7% hesitate.

14.5% said that they wouldn’t take part in parliamentary elections if they were held next Sunday. One sixth of all respondents (16.6%) have not yet decided on their final choice.

Eight political forces can today confidently count on overcoming the 5% barrier and enter the parliament. Among those who determined that they will take part in the elections, 19% would give their vote to the party “Batkivshchyna”; 14,8% would vote for “Servant of the people”; 11.7% would vote for “Civil Position”; 11.3% would vote for the “Opposition Platform – For Life” opposition party; 10.9% would vote for “Bloc of Petro Poroshenko – Solidarity”; 8.4% would vote for the “Radical Party” of Oleg Lyashko; 5.3% would vote for “Samopomich”, and 5% would vote for the “Nashi” party.

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