Monday, November 23, 2009

54 Days and counting

With less then eight weeks left before the next presidential election little has changed in terms of expected results.

Ukraine's embattled President, Viktor Yushchenko, will launch his bid for a second term today, a bid that will surely fail.  Whilst the first set of official opinion polls are yet to be published there is little change expected in the overall outcome.

The two highest polling candidates remain Viktor Yanukovych and Yulia Tymoshenko.  Yasteniuk comes in a distant third - 10 percentage pointed behind Yulia Tymoshenko with the rest of the flotilla lagging even further behind. With little prospect of any significant change occurring in the next 8 weeks.

Yushchenko's party Our Ukraine is floating four candidates in this election with each candidate competing against each other dividing their share of the overall vote.

With Yushchenko expected to lose outright in the first round his Party Our Ukraine will soon after dissolve and split into two with one section seeking sanction and support from Yulia Tymochenko and the remnants hoping to be taken under Yanukovych's wing.  This in itself will cause some concern as to the constitutionality of a parliamentary faction that is no longer a united. Withy the demise of Our Ukraine will come the consolidation of the two main factions.  A number of commentators expect that Our Ukraine supporters will transfer there support to Yulia Tymosehnko and give cause for a possible close finish in the final round.

The odds are still in Yanukovychs favor. But his support rating does not appear to be rising as fast as one would expect.

The period between now and December 21st will be crucial.  Candidates have until December 21 to decide if they will see the election out. If they pull out before then they have a chance of getting their deposit back, if not 16 will sure enough lose 2.5 Million hrivinias.

In a rather cynical and blatant statement Sergei Tigipko has suggested that he might trade his support for a spot on the parliamentary front bench and he has pitched to both Yanukovych and Tymoshenko his bid to become Prime Minister.  I guess it is similar to the US primaries where the various players seek to secure a favorable position in turn for delivering what could be a decisive and significant number of voters.

One commentator has suggested he might receive up to seven percent of the vote.  This assessment is a bit high and the seven percent would have to come from somewhere.  One  poll had him level pegging Yushchenko on around 3.5%. Certainly not in a winning position. Tigipko's support is unlikely to increase much beyond that level. 

Those supporters who are disappointed at Yushchenko's standing in the polls have suggested that Ukraine might vote for the stooge candidate  Vasyl Protyvsikh.  This is laughable as a vote for Portyvish will only entrench the positions held by Tymoshenko and Yanukovych. A vote for Protyvish would be a wasted vote, they would be better off not voting at all.