Zelenskiy's popularity recovers a little in polls, but his Servant of the People Party rating still falling

Zelenskiy's popularity recovers a little in polls, but his Servant of the People Party rating still falling
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s popularity recovered slightly to 28% in April, up from 24% in March, but his Servant of the People Party saw its rating fall to just one point above its nearest rival / wiki
By bne IntelliNews April 27, 2021

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s popularity has recovered slightly in the polls following several months of action by the president that saw him close down the TV stations of one of his main rivals, face down a threat of invasion by Russian forces and lobby hard for Ukraine’s inclusion in NATO and the EU in the West.

If presidential elections were held this weekend Zelenskiy would take 28% of those who intend to vote and have made their choice already, according to Ukrainian Institute of the Future (UIF) with the assistance of New Image Marketing Groups that conducted the survey between April 9 to April 18, Interfax Ukraine reports.

That is slightly up from the 24.6% of Ukrainians that said they would vote for him, according to a poll conducted by the Social Monitoring Centre from February 19 to February 28.

The result also means Zelenskiy remains easily the most popular politician in Ukraine with just over a 10-point lead over his nearest rival, former President Petro Poroshenko with 15% of the population that would vote for his return to office and who leads the European Solidarity Party.

From the other leaders, co-chairman of the Opposition Platform For Life Party Yuriy Boiko has the support of 14% of the respondents, leader of Batkivschyna Yulia Tymoshenko has 11% and the leader of the Strength and Honour Party, Ihor Smeshko, some 8%. The remaining players all score less than the threshold of 5%.

Ukraine also measures an “anti” rating of voters that would never vote for a candidate under any circumstances.

The highest anti-rating in the presidential elections remains with Petro Poroshenko, where almost a quarter (23%) refuse to consider voting for him.

The second place in the anti-rating is shared by Putin’s personal friend and pro-Russia politician Viktor Medvedchuk (15%), with Zelenskiy in third place with a 14% anti-vote. In fourth place is Yuriy Boiko with 11%.

The absolute majority of citizens (81%) announced their intentions to vote in the presidential elections. Some 16% of respondents do not want to take part in them and only 3% have not decided.

The respondents who do not intend to vote in the presidential elections most often explained this by a belief that their choice would not change anything or by the absence of worthy candidates (31%). In addition, 14% of them said they were not interested in politics at all or believed that the elections were rigged (12%).

Half of citizens (53%) are against holding early presidential elections, while 39% support such a step.  

Party politics

If parliamentary elections were held this weekend then only four parties would clear the 5% hurdle to win seats and Zelenskiy’s Servant of the People (SOTP) is only just hanging on to the lead.

SOTP would take 19% of the vote, only one percentage point ahead of the pro-Russian Opposition Platform - For Life Party with 18%, followed by Poroshenko’s European Solidarity Party with 16%. Tymoshenko’s Batkivshchyna Party is in fourth with 14%, and the Strength and Honour Party is borderline with 6%.

SOTP keeps slipping in the polls and has fallen to 19% from 21.9% in February, according to the Social Monitoring Centre’s February poll.

The leaders in party anti-rating are Opposition Platform - For Life and European Solidarity with scores of 22% and 20% respectively. At the same time, 12% are not ready to vote in the parliamentary elections for the Servant of the People Party.

The people are slightly less enthusiastic about voting in a general election: the majority of citizens (72%) declare their desire to vote in the parliamentary elections. Another 23% have no such intention, and 5% could not answer.

Wrong direction

After the euphoria of Zelenskiy's election in 2019 the hangover has arrived and the number of Ukrainians that believe the country is going in the wrong direction has returned to more or less the levels it was under the Poroshenko administration.

Some 68% of Ukrainian citizens believe that the direction of events in the country is wrong, according to UIF, the same level as in March, according to the Rating Group.

According to the survey, only 17% of respondents say that Ukraine is moving in the right direction, and another 15% cannot decide, Interfax reports.

Of the problems worrying voters, the undeclared war in Donbas is the biggest concern (40%), followed by low wages and pensions (36%), corruption (31%), high utility rates (29%) and the pandemic (27%).