Ukraine:«Sociological events» of October-November 2021

Strategic Group Sofia

Sociological research of late October - early November 2021 shows that tariff growth and rapid increase of mortality due to Covid-19 has led to increase in discontent with the government, decrease in President's rating and rise in request for elections, both presidential and parliamentary.
  1. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskiy's rating has fallen 7% in a month, reaching 18% among whole nation and 25% among those who are going to vote in the elections. He remains a leader despite his rating falling and anti-rating growing.

According to the data of Institute of the Future Volodymyr Zelenskiy is a leader of the anti-rating - 31,9% of the respondents feel strongly against voting for him. Current President is followed by Petro Poroshenko (31,6%) and Yuri Boyko (24%).

Volodymyr Zelenskiy is also a leader of the anti-rating according to Socis agency with 29,3% of respondents refusing to vote for him. Poroshenko (28,8%) and Boyko (25,3%) are in a 2nd and 3rd places respectively. Followed by Victor Medvedchuk (22,1%), Yulia Tymoshenko (16,1%), Oleh Lyashko (15,4%), Evhen Muraev (13,5%) and Oleh Tyahnybok (11%). The anti-rating also lists Volodymyr Groysman, Kira Rudyk, Ihor Smeshko and Dmytro Razumkov, however they have only 11% of the votes collectively.
2. Volodymyr Zelenskiy's credibility took a hit, in particular, after information disclosing his offshore holdings has been published. According to KIIS data 3/4 of Ukrainian citizens consider owning offshore accounts in the foreign countries by senior officials and top politicians unacceptable.

61,7 % of Ukrainians are familiar with The Pandora Papers investigation, however only 13,8% claim to be well informed on the matter and 47,9% have a general understanding but not in detail.

77,1% consider owning offshore accounts in the foreign countries by senior officials and top politicians unacceptable. 15,6% do not see a problem. 7,3% find it difficult or refuse to respond.
3. Discontent with the government remains high. A third of Ukrainians think that current government is worse than the former.

According to KIIS data 29,9% of Ukrainians consider current government to be worse than the former, 44,9% think that current government is not different from the former, 22% see current government as a better one.
According to Socis agency majority of respondents (42,9%) think that current government does not differ from the former. 32,4% consider the current one to be worse than the former. 18,8% think that the current one is better than the former.

The growth in discontent with a general direction of the development of the country is recorded - it increased by 6,1%, a significant number. 71,1% of Ukrainians think that Ukraine is moving in a wrong direction. 15% consider it to be a right one.
4. High level of discontent with the government leads to increase in protest sentiment.

According to the Kiev Institute of International Sociology, more than 47.3% of Ukrainians are for early parliamentary elections (37.7% are against ) and 43.4% - early presidential elections (45.8% are against). At the same time, more than 20% of respondents are ready to support the protests demanding early elections of deputies and the head of state. 4% more respondents want early elections to the Verkhovna Rada.
5. The ruling party continues to lose support.

According to the Rating sociological group, if parliamentary elections were held in the nearest future - «Servant of the People» party would gain the most support - 20,4% of those who are going to vote and have already made their choice. At the same time, in comparison to September, the support is a bit lower. 15,8% are willing to vote for «European solidarity», 12% «Opposition Platform - For Life» and 10,9% for «Batkivshyna».
6. Ukrainians think that «European solidarity» and «Opposition Platform - For Life» are most likely be considered an opposition to «Servant of the People».

According to KIIS the majority of respondents consider «European solidarity» (27,2%) and «Opposition Platform - For Life» (24,3%) to be the leading representatives of the opposition to the current government. Also 17,5% named «Batkivshyna» and 4,4% named «Golos».
7. There is a «rating rivalry» for a position of a primary opponent in the possible presidential election. P. Poroshenko, Y.Boyko and Y.Tymoshenko are in the top three.

According to Socis research if the elections would be taking place in the nearest future Volodymyr Zelenskiy would receive the biggest vote in the first round - 18,6% of respondents. Petro Poroshenko would come next - 12,6%. Followed by Yuri Boyko - 8,2% and Yulia Tymoshenko - 7,8%. Other politicians received less than 5%. 14,1% chose the «vote for no one» option.

If the second round of elections took place in the nearest future Zelenskiy would receive 53,9% of votes of those who have already made up their mind (29,9% of the overall number of respondents). 46,1% of those who made up their mind would vote for Poroshenko. (25,6% of the overall number of respondents).

According to «Rating» group data along with V.Zelenskiy Y.Tymoshenko also is in the top three, surpassing Y.Boyko. If the elections were held in the nearest future 25,1% among those who made up their mind would vote for Zelenskiy.

Poroshenko would receive 14,1% of the votes.

According to this agency Y.Boyko with 9,5% would drop out of the top three surpassed by Y.Tymoshenko with 10,1%.

Other candidates were further away: 7.3% - D. Razumkov, 7.1% - I. Smeshko, 6.0% - E. Muraev, 5.1% - V. Groisman, 4.3% - A. Gritsenko , 3.9% - A. Lyashko, 2.0% - A. Tyagnibok, 1.5% - A. Sadovy.

According to the «Rating» agency «if the second round of elections took place and Zelneskiy and Poroshenko would be in it, Zelesnkiy would receive 26,7% of the respondents' vote and Poroshenko - 21,3%. It means that among those who made up their mind and are going to vote in the election 55,6% would vote for Zelenskiy and 44,4% for Poroshenko.»

At the same time, almost 33% of respondents said that they would not vote for any of the candidates. Almost 20% of the respondents answered that they would not vote in the elections, or could not answer the question.

According to the Razumkov center data if the presidential elections were held in the nearest future, Volodymyr Zelenskiy would receive the majority of the vote (17% of the respondents overall or 26% of those who will vote and made up their mind). Petro Poroshenko received 9% and 14% respectively, Yuri Boyko 7% and 12% and Yulia Tymoshenko 7% and 10%.

6% and 9% respectively are ready to vote for ex-speaker Dmitriy Razumkov, 4% and 6% for Evgen Muraev.

8. D.Razumkov is gaining recognition as an independent political figure in the minds of voters.

According to KIIS 39,1% of Ukrainians have a negative attitude towards Dmitry Razumkov being dismissed as a chairman of Verkhovna Rada. Only 8% are pro, while 44,1% are indifferent.

6% of the respondents and 9% of those who will vote and have made up their mind would vote for him in presidential elections.

Elections are still far away and it is clear that the polls are used as an instrument to shape public opinion. However the fact that Zelenskiy's rating decreased didn't lead to increase in Poroshenko's rating.

Starting from 2004 we live in a «war of ratings» and this topic is being frequently discussed in the sociological society. Rating is a measurement of public opinion, and is largely dependant on what is happening in our information space. An information attack or scandal leads straight to the changes in a rating. And in a week or two everything is back to normal, as everything may be a lie.

It makes sense to measure a rating when it is actualised, meaning that problems that it researches are actualised for people. For example, before the elections, when it is relevant and the percentage of respondents is higher (those who agree to cooperate with sociologists and do not refuse to participate in the polls). As per today's ratings it is largely a trust and support indicator for a party.

Elections are not on the agenda, hence there is no active election campaign, where parties express their opinions and visions of what needs to be changed. Thus today's ratings are rather suppositive.

V.Yuschenko and P.Poroshenko have left their positions with a minus 70% rating, meaning that majority of people living in Ukraine have lost their faith in them. V.Zelenskiy has a trust rating of minus 30% meaning that he can fight for its increase. If the situation with coronavirus and, more importantly with heating, will not transform into a catastrophe, the level of support for the government may rise, and it doesn't depend on manipulative technology but rather on capability to implement a real social protection of the citizens policy.

As of autumn 2021 V.Zelenskiy has two major opponents - P.Poroshenko and Y.Boyko. Y.Tymoshenko is not a competitor anymore, while D.Razumkov isn't one yet.

«Servant of the People» has also lost its position the rating. A transformation process of this community of deputies that came to power in the wave of «electoral revolution» in 2019 has already started. Media space works based on the scandal marketing principle.

In order for people that accidentally got into the group not to pull down the already falling rating, they are being excluded which leads to a process of differentiation in the ruling group on the basis of personal loyalty to Zelenskiy's team. A critical mass of unprofessionalism is getting even bigger, which in its turn strengthens the trend of the rating falling. V.Zelenskiy failed to establish professional groups.

The situation of growing distrust in the government and a high demand for new elections is ideal for new political projects that emerge. A demand for equity in the society can no longer be satisfied by market reforms, thus this ideology is no longer effective. Since the level of trust in political institutions and politics as a sphere of public life is very low, it is sensible to consider political culture of the population characteristics when developing new projects.

In particular, it may be taken into consideration that «equity» in people's minds includes real equality when it comes to law, life opportunities regardless of people's origin, proportionality of rewards for their merits etc. Only an insignificant number of citizens think that freedom is executed primarily through political rights. There is an understanding that democracy is impossible without political opposition to the government. However opposition's task is a critical evaluation of its actions. A significant pat of citizens think that freedom is an opportunity to live according to one's own free will.

Considering that the word «will» in Ukrainian language literally means absence of any external limitations, this concept may be hard for europeans to understand. Western attributes of «democracy standards» such as minorities rights, gender equality, constant change of government, multiparty system etc are not so important for Ukraine. Democracy is understood as a social concept that gives a right to work, housing, affordable medical services and education. The state is not perceived as a mediator that coordinates interests of different groups (professional, economic, ethnic), but rather as an institute of collective goal setting. The prospect of ideological construction of a new political project may be found in the project of a democratic state's renaissance with these specific characteristics.
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