Election MonitorUkraine Elections to Verkhovna Rada 2012 August 9, 2012
EXECUTIVE SUMMARYThe October 28, 2012 parliamentary election race officially began on Monday, July 30. Currently, participating politicalparties are finalizing their party lists and nominating and registering candidates for single-mandate election districts. Theresults of this process, including the exact list of candidates and participating parties will be available by the second half ofAugust.Opinion polling points six parties playing an active role in the elections: Party of Regions, United Opposition (“Batkivshchyna”and “Front of Change”), Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reforms (UDAR), Communist Party of Ukraine, “Ukraine –Forward!”, and “Freedom”. The first four will almost surely have a presence in the next Parliament, and the other two alsohave good chances. All of these parties will participate in both the party list and the single-mandate elections, except“Freedom” which will coordinate its single-mandate list with the United Opposition. Additionally, incumbent ParliamentSpeaker Volodymyr Lytvyn’s “National Party” will run exclusively in the single-mandate elections, but will not participate inthe party list election. Former President Yushchenko’s “Our Ukraine” teamed with other rightist parties “Ukrainian NationalParty” and “Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists” and will participate in both parts of the election process. Opinion pollingsuggests they are highly unlikely to pass the 5% threshold for party lists and their candidates in single mandate districts areat a disadvantage due to their late start.Single-mandate elections remain traditionally unpredictable, although we can be sure that the incumbent Party of Regionswill have an advantage in eastern and southern regions where their candidates are well finances and face little competitionfrom opposition candidates. As is common in Ukraine, the deciding factor in many single mandate districts will be thecandidate’s ability to finance their political campaigns, as well as other large projects in the districts, rather than partyaffiliation.Regarding Kyiv municipal elections, the two main contenders are obvious. The runoff will be between Vitaliy Klychko, leaderof the opposition UDAR party and Oleksadnr Popov, current Chairman of the Kyiv City State Administration. The Party ofRegions will attempt to delay the elections as much as possible in order to secure a victory for Popov.PBN H+K Strategies will offer another update on the 2012 parliamentary elections at the end of August, 2012.
PARTY LIST RACE United Communist Ukraine - % Party of Regions UDAR Freedom Other Undecided Opposition Party Forward!May, 2012 17.9 20.5 9.0 3.8 2.6 1.3 3.8 41.0June, 2012 19.4 19.3 12.4 4.7 1.9 3.4 4.1 34.8 Source: polls by GfK Ukraine May 2012 Party of Regions June 2012 Party of Regions United Opposition United Opposition UDAR UDAR 17,9 34,8 19,4 41,0 Communist Party Communist Party 20,5 Freedom 19,3 Freedom Ukraine - Forward! Ukraine - Forward! 9,0 4,7 12,4 Other Other Undecided 4,1 Undecided 3,8 3,4 1,9 1,3 2,6 3,8 Party of Regions and United Opposition (“Batkivshchyna” + “Front of Change”) are virtually even in voter support; however, they have lost much popularity since the 2007 election. Party of Regions is not attracting many additional voters, despite the assimilation of Deputy Prime Minister Serhiy Tihipko’s party “Strong Ukraine”. In fact, as some recent polls show, they continue to lose public trust. Yulia Tymoshenko’s “Batkivshchyna”, on the other hand, gained considerable support after merging with “Front of Change” headed by Arseniy Yatsenyuk. After the recent changes in the election system (particularly the elimination of “Against All” vote) and the abovementioned mergers, the electorate is in a flux. The number of people not planning to attend the elections has more than doubled, and the number of undecided voters has increased dramatically as well. Thus, the election among party lists appears wide open for now.
POPULARITY POLLS FROM OTHER SOURCES Party of United Communist Ukraine - % UDAR Freedom Other Undecided Regions Opposition Party Forward!Razumkov Centre 25.1 23.7 9.8 7.2 3.5 3.3 7.9 19.5 (25 June 2012) KIIS (26 June 19.1 17.3 9.5 6.9 3.7 3.9 5.1 34.2 2012) GfK (June 2012) 19.4 19.3 12.4 4.7 1.9 3.4 4.1 34.8Rating Group (31 18.6 23.6 10.3 9.3 4.0 4.1 2.3 23.3 July 2012) Graphic Comparison35,030,0 As seen, the data from Razumkov Centre Razumkov Centre (25 June 2012) slightly inflates the results in favor of the25,0 two leading parties, while the other studies KIIS (26 June emphasize the open nature of the race.20,0 2012)15,0 GfK (June 2012) The more recent study from Rating Group demonstrates the gain in support by the10,0 United Opposition and the Communist Rating Group (31 July 2012) Party. 5,0 0,0
IF ELECTIONS TOOK PLACE IN JULY… United Communist Ukraine - Party of Regions UDAR Freedom Other Total Opposition Party Forward! Seats 78 77 50 20 below threshold below threshold below threshold 225Note: assume “undecided” voters don’t participate or spread equally Seats filled under the Proportional System 20 78 50 Party of Regions United Opposition UDAR Communist Party 77 There are only 4 parties currently who would easily pass the 5% threshold: Party of Regions, United Opposition (“Batkivshchyna” + “Front of Change”), UDAR and the Communist Party of Ukraine. The Communist Party is slightly below the cutoff line, but will no doubt pass the threshold as it is benefitting from voters dissatisfied with the Party of Regions in Eastern and Southern Ukraine. Oleh Tyahnybok’s “Freedom” and Natalia Korolevska’s “Ukraine-Forward!” are considerably below the threshold, but both still have a chance to pass 5%. The latter in particular has been gaining attention and support steadily in the recent months, more so after the famous Ukrainian football player, Andriy Shevchenko announced his membership in the party.
POTENTIAL VOTER GAIN Party of Regions United Opposition UDAR Communist Party Freedom Ukraine - Forward! Support (%) 19.4 19.3 12.4 4.7 1.9 3.4 Sympathy (%) 21.8 28.2 23.1 9.0 6.4 7.7 Relative Gain 1.12 1.46 1.86 1.91 3.37 2.26 (times)Relative Gain (%) 12.4 46.1 86.3 91.5 236.8 126.5 Party of Regions has very little potential to gain voters on30,0 the proportional system, and will likely emphasize securing25,0 as many single-mandate districts as possible in order to20,0 ensure a majority in the Parliament.15,0 Another key task for the Party of Regions will be to10,0 encourage their electoral base to turn out. Despite low Potential Gain 5,0 potential to gain active voters, they might still garner Current Support support from over 30% of potential voters currently refusing 0,0 to participate in the elections. Both United Opposition and UDAR have a large amount of sympathizers, enough to secure a significant number of additional seats. Both “Freedom” and “Ukraine-Forward!” still have a chance to break the 5% threshold given a successful campaign. With over 35% of the voters undecided, much will depend on the ability of the parties to swing this electorate in their favor. UDAR will need to target younger voters (under 30 years old.), since they are the least politically active, but show the most support for Klychko’s party advertised as modern, progressive, and European.
SINGLE-MANDATE ELECTIONSCurrently, the results of single-mandate elections are impossible to predict with certainty, since there is usually little to nocorrelation between the voters’ party preferences and regional representative voting tendencies in Ukraine.While some candidates (usually pro-Party of Regions incumbents) have already started campaigning in their districts, thesingle-mandate race remains open as official registration of candidates in the Central Election Commission has only justbegun, and the parties continue to finalize candidate lists.Unless the opposition begins to campaign aggressively in the nearest future, single-mandate races will favor pro-governmentcandidates or independents with their support, for the following reasons: – Many of the districts were drawn in favor of pro-government candidates or with the intention of disrupting opposition candidates’ campaigns; – Some Party of Regions candidates are masquerading as pro-opposition independents in order to create fake competition against intentionally weak PoR candidates and discredit the actual opposition candidates; – Single-mandate races usually favor the better-financed, better-organized candidates, which are often pro-government candidates. – Some opposition candidates are willing to cross over to the Party of Regions side after winning their seats as opposition members, particularly business leaders.The possibility of fraud on certain election sites still exists. It will be difficult for the opposition to install enough observers inall the 225 districts and to operate effectively after being accustomed to a proportional election system for the past 10 years.According to some estimates, pro-government candidates have the power to gain as much as 10% more votes through fraudduring the counting process.Judging by the released candidate lists for single-mandate districts, the Party of Regions and the PoR-sympathizingindependents currently hold considerable advantage over the rather weak candidates from opposition. The PBN Companywill release more specific analysis once the lists are finalized and the candidates officially register with the CEC.
KYIV MAYOR ELECTION Potential Candidates Oleksandr Oleksandra Vitaliy Klychko Oleh Lyashko Vasyl Horbal Serhiy Kurykin Against All Undecided Popov KuzhelPopularity (%) 43.1 34.4 6.9 1.6 1.2 0.0 3.0 9.8Source: poll by “Ukrainian Democratic Circle”, July 2012 The race is likely to come down to Popov (Party of Potential Kyiv Mayor Regions) vs. Klychko (UDAR, opposition). Klychko Popularity currently enjoys more popularity, but with time Popov has better resources and is better-positioned to gain 3,0 additional support. 1,2 Vitaliy Klychko 1,6 6,9 9,8 While the opposition is pushing for the Kyiv Mayor Oleksandr Popov 43,1 election to be held simultaneously with the parliamentary Oleksandra Kuzhel elections in October, 2012, the Party of Regions is Oleh Lyashko interested in delaying the date in order to boost their 34,4 Vasyl Horbal candidate’s popularity. Verkhovna Rada sets the date for Against All municipal elections, therefore the Party of Regions has this advantage as long as they maintain their majority. Undecided Vitaliy Klychko has previously announced his intent to run for the position, and that he would give up his seat in the Verkhovna Rada for it.
APPENDIX 1: MAJOR POLITICAL PARTIES “Batkivshchyna”: Formerly known “Party of Regions”: The party as the Yuliya Tymoshenko bloc, this that currently holds 175 seats and is the primary opposition party in majority in Verkhovna Rada. It is Ukraine. After merging with the also the party of the current “Front for Change” and several President, Viktor Yanukovych. other small opposition parties, it is Generally favors a Russian- often referred to as the United leaning agenda. Opposition. Generally has a pro- European stance. UDAR (Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform): Vitaliy Communist Party of Ukraine: Klychko’s party. This is the only Currently holds 27 seats in the significant opposition party not parliament. It is a small but cooperating with “Batkivshchyna” in significant pro-government party the upcoming elections. UDAR has in Ukraine. Pursues a socialist been gaining much popular support agenda and generally sides with in the recent months. Pursues a pro- the Party of Regions. European and an anti-corruption agenda. “Ukraine-Forward!”: Natalia Korolevska’s party, All-Ukrainian Union “Freedom”: formerly known as the Social Oleh Tyahnybok’s party. Agreed to Democratic Party of Ukraine, cooperate with “Batkivshchyna” in formerly part of Bloc of Yuliya single-mandate elections. Pursues a Tymoshenko. Positions itself as Ukrainian nationalist and a populist an opposition party with a pro- agenda. development agenda, but might side with the PoR after elections.
APPENDIX 2: KYIV MAYOR ELECTIONS POTENTIAL CANDIDATES PROFILEVitaliy Klychko: Leader of the UDAR Oleksandr Popov: Chairman of the Kyivparty, former member of the Kyiv City City State Administration, former MinisterCouncil. Ran for mayor’s office before, for Public Services. Member of Party ofunsuccessfully. Regions, and their preferred candidate for Kyiv mayor.Oleksandra Kuzhel’: Former head of Oleh Lyashko: Incumbent deputy of theThe State Committee of Ukraine for Verkhovna Rada from “Batkivshchyna”,Regulatory Policy and Entrepreneurship, was ousted from the party in 2010,former deputy head of the “Strong allegedly for “cooperating with the [PartyUkraine” party. Quit the party after its of Regions] majority”.merge with the Party of Regions.Vasyl’ Horbal’: Incumbent deputy of the Serhiy Kurykin: Former head of theVerkhovna Rada from the Party of Green Party, former Minister for EcologyRegions; former president of and Natural Resources.“Ukrgazbank”, former governor of Lvivoblast. Ran for mayor’s office in 2008.