Ukrainian comedian Zelensky to win second round with landslide, new survey says

Ukrainian comedian Zelensky to win second round with landslide, new survey says
Zelenskiy’s victory is inevitable, barring any force majeure events say analysts in Kyiv
By bne IntelliNews April 12, 2019

Over 60% of Ukrainians who are ready to vote in the second round of presidential elections, support Ukrainian comedian and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelenskiy, according to a survey published by the Rating Sociological Group on April 11.

About 24% of them will vote for the incumbent President Petro Poroshenko, while about 15% of voters are undecided.

Among those intending to vote in the second round and already decided on their choice, 71% are for Zelenskiy, Poroshenko would get 29%. Of all those polled, 51% of Ukrainians plan to vote in favour of Zelenskiy, compared to 21% of those supporting Poroshenko, while 18% were undecided and 10% did not plan to vote, according to the poll of 3,000 respondents conducted between April 5 and 10.

"Zelenskiy’s victory is inevitable, barring any force majeure events," Zenon Zawada at Kyiv-based brokerage Concorde Capital believes. "If the claims of his advisers are true that Poroshenko won’t cling to office, we advise our clients to start preparing for a turbulent remainder of the year under a Zelenskiy presidency."

Meanwhile, Poroshenko called an April 8 meeting of the members of his parliamentary faction to urge them to intensify the attacks on his election campaign rival Zelenskiy. In fighting against ex-PM Yulia Tymoshenko in the first round, the campaign staff overlooked Zelenskiy, the president said, as reported by the Ukrainska Pravda online outlet, citing its anonymous sources at the meeting.

"The campaign against Zelenskiy has to become harsh now," the president reportedly said, according to an unnamed faction MP. Another MP said that the president said that we are supposed to win with "a knockout".

Over the past few days, Poroshenko's team has posted billboards across the country depicting Poroshenko facing off against Russian president Putin, implying that those who vote for Zelenskiy are actually voting for Ukraine’s capitulation to Russia.

"Putin wants a weak president"

On March 7, Poroshenko said in a televised talk-show that the Ukrainians should know whether the nation's new president "is strong enough to confront the challenges that the aggressor country poses".

"To confront and defend the state as president and supreme commander-in-chief. Because Putin wants a weak president to ensure the revenge. I firmly believe that Ukraine will not allow this," Poroshenko said hinting at the fact that Zelenskiy has no any experience in politics and diplomacy.

Meanwhile, Poroshenko keeps insisting on televised debates with Zelenskiy. On April 9 the president said in a televised talk-show that the debate of presidential candidates was not only a legal requirement, but also a necessary precondition for the conscious choice of Ukrainians.

"I am not interested in discussing the form of the debate. I believe that the debate is a key element of democracy. A 45mn country cannot buy 'a pig in a poke', to vote for the virtual person, which it sees only on TV, in the movies," he said. "You have the right to ask questions and get answers to them. You have the right to hear the position of this candidate on the key aspects of the state's existence: security, foreign policy, citizens' rights and freedoms, economy, fight against corruption, struggle with oligarchs."