By the International Republican Institute, Oct 14, 2015 (original title: ‘ IRI Ukraine poll: Interest is high in October 25 local elections amid pessimism about pace of reforms’)
KYIV– A new poll released by IRI has found high voter enthusiasm [sic] ahead of the upcoming October 25 local elections, continuing frustration over the pace of reforms and a troubling lack of understanding about the reforms being pursued. The poll also found increased public support for NATO membership.
Interest is high in October 25 local elections
On October 25, Ukrainians across the country will go to the polls to elect mayors and, regional and city councils. These elections are critical as newly-elected officials will see increased authority if Parliament passes the proposed decentralization law that is central to President Poroshenko’s reform efforts.
Seventy-five percent of respondents said they were either very likely or somewhat likely to vote in the elections, a ten percent increase since IRI’s July poll. Voter enthusiasm is highest in western Ukraine, though strong majorities in eastern and southern Ukraine also intend to vote (70 percent and 69 percent, respectively).
Continuing frustration with pace of reforms
As in IRI’s previous poll, Ukrainians continued to express frustration with the pace of change in their country. Sixty-eight percent believed that things are going in the wrong direction, and only 11 percent approved of the job that parliament is doing.
One possible explanation is the lack of information on the contents of the government’s reform packages. When asked to evaluate their knowledge of the decentralization/local governance amendments to the constitution, only 12 percent of respondents believed they were well informed of the reform contents. Similarly, only 12 percent believed the reforms would improve the situation in Ukraine, compared to 15 percent who believed it would worsen and 46 percent who believed it would not change anything.
“As with IRI’s July poll, this new poll underscores the fact that Ukraine is at a critical juncture,” said Stephen Nix, director of IRI’s Eurasia programs. “People’s frustration continues to grow with the pace of and lack of information on reforms. If the government is going to succeed in passing the reforms that so many demanded on the Maidan, they must do more to reach out to voters and explain the reform package to citizens.”
In contrast to the confusion over the contents of decentralization reform, the poll indicated overwhelming support for the police reforms, with 75 percent supporting the introduction of new police in the cities of Kyiv, Lviv and Odesa. “This is one of the first reforms that Ukrainians can see and it is a clear example of how positively people respond to reforms when they see them take effect in their communities,” said Nix.
Increased support for NATO membership
IRI’s poll saw the highest level of support for NATO membership in any survey the Institute has conducted. When asked whether they would vote for Ukraine to join NATO in a referendum, 48 percent of respondents said they would—a seven point increase since IRI’s last survey—while only 28 percent said they would vote against this decision. In addition, a strong majority (57 percent) continue to support Ukraine’s integration with the European Union.
The poll was conducted in all regions of Ukraine (with the exception of Crimea and occupied regions of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts) from September 7-21, 2015, with an oversample in the Zakarpattia region (see poll presentation for methodology). The national survey had a randomly selected sample of 1,200 permanent residents of Ukraine aged 18 and older and eligible to vote. The margin of error does not exceed plus or minus 2.8 percent, and the response rate was 63.9 percent.
Latest polling has the party of Prime Minister Yatsenyuk at one per cent
Pravda Ukraine, Friday, October 16, 2015, translation by New Cold War.org
If an election were to take place this month to the Verkhovna Rada, the ‘People’s Front’ party of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk would score only one per cent of the vote and fail to return to Parliament.
This is one of many significant findings in an extensive poll released by the sociological survey group Rating Group Ukraine and published on its website.
The poll show that in the hypothetical Rada election scenario, Bloc Poroshenko would garner 13 per cent support, Fatherland, Self Reliance and the Opposition Bloc would each win 11 per cent, the Radical Party of Oleg Lyashko, Right Sectorand Svoboda Party would gather seve, six and five per cent, respectively.
Other political forces would not reach the five per cent barrier needed to win Parliamentary representation. In the Parliamentary election on year ago, Yatsenyuk’s ‘People Front’ electoral machine topped the result with 23 per cent.
Poll results showing Ukrainians deeply dissatisfied with government, economy and war, by New Cold War.org, Aug 26, 2015
The International Republican Institute in the United States has published results of surveys of attitudes of Ukrainians on the key issues facing the country. The polling was conducted in the latter two weeks of July 2015 by Rating Group Ukraine on behalf of the IRI.
The survey provides more evidence of deepgoing and growing political dissatisfaction and alienation in Ukraine. Absolute or relative majorities of Ukrainians now express unfavorable views of all major government leaders and politicians from major parties in Ukraine.