The Restructuration of the Political Opposition

The Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) just released its latest political rankings on its website, based on an all-Ukraine survey conducted on June 11-20. The Party of Regions is crushing the Tymoshenko Bloc 38.0% to 11.3%, with only the new formations of Serhii Tyhypko (Syl’na Ukraïna – Strong Ukraine) and Arsenii Yatseniuk (Front zmin – Front of Change) crossing the 3% threshold, with 7.1% and 3.8%, respectively. The Communists and the extreme right party Svoboda are just under at 2.5%, the Lytvyn Bloc is at 1.1% and Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine virtually extinct at 0.7%. Eight percent were against all. Among those who had an opinion and intend to vote, which is was count statistically in an election, the Party of Regions is just under 50% (48.2%), and the Communist and Svoboda are just above 3%.

These results suggest that the political opposition is undergoing a major restructuration in Ukraine, with Tymoshenko in a free fall (Yushchenko has not been a player electorally in more than a year). The Party of Regions does lead in Central Ukraine, but with only 34 percent of the vote among those intending to vote (and not against all). In Eastern and Southern Ukraine, the Regional domination is scary, with 64% and 81% of the vote that counts. Island of opposition seem to be disappearing in Yanukovych’s Russian-speaking fiefdom. Interestingly, most of the support for Tyhypko, initially seen as a challenge to Yanukovych in the East, comes from Central and Western Ukraine (as well as in the South, presumably in Kherson and Mykolaiv, the two areas whose support for the Orange Revolution was significant). In terms of support for potential presidential candidates, Tyhypko is now nearly head to head with Tymoshenko, just below 12%, yet far behind Yanukovych.

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