Wednesday, January 27, 2010

10 days countdown to final battle - Tymoshenko remains the underdog

Can Tymoshenko secure a deal with Sergei Tigipko to go on and win the final election?  Whilst in theory it is possible the odds are against Tymoshenko who remains the underdog with Viktor Yanukovych retaining poll position.

Problems facing Tymoshenko
1. Tigipko does not have a natural constituency, he is not able to influence voters choice as to who is their preferred candidate in the second round ballot.  they voted for him personally not his party/organisation.

2. Most if not all voters have already decided who they will support. The second round is a wast of time and limited resources. Ukraine should have adopted a single round preferential ballot system, had they done so  the results of the election would be known by now.

3. Review of Tigipoko's support distribution indicates that his votes were located  in the South East and Kviv metro regions. His votes came predominately from Party of Regions, The Socialist Party and the Communist Party (See the various Swing charts comparing the 2004 Presidential and 2007 Parliamentary elections)  Most of these votes will return to Yanukovych as a second choice candidate.

4. Tigipko is playing the field and has a bet each way

5. Tymoshenko needs two out of every three votes allocated to minor candidates in the first round in order to make up the 10% short fall. This is a big ask. It is not impossible but it is very difficult.

6. All the various public opinion polls had Yulia Tymoshenko remaining 10% behind Yanukovych in a run-off ballot. Tymoshenko did pick up an additional 5% points that were not recorded in the opinion polls. But to make up a further 10% shortfall will be even more difficult.

All analysis shows that Tymoshenko will fall 5% points behind Yanukovych.

The main reason is that an additional 5% are expected to either not vote or will vote "Against all" in the final ballot.

7. Yushchenko, Yatsenyuk and Hrytsenko are advocating an "Against all" option. Whilst most will not follow their advice, the fact remains that an Against all vote will favor Yanukovych. Under Ukrainian law the highest polling candidate wins. An against all vote will not count.

Tymoshenko has a very tough battle ahead with less then 10 days remaining before the final poll.

Even if she can manage to pull off a victory it will be a very tight margin. Anything less then 0.5% will be subject to a challenge. At best Ukraine will remain bitterly divided.

To add to it all there is talk of forces out there, Georgian, that are hell bent on disrupting the final ballot. This action will only play into the hands of Viktor Yushchenko who is the only one that would benefit from such action. Georgian President, Mikheil Saakashvili, can not afford to see Ukraine take an independent stand that would weaken his position back at home.  If Ukraine falls. Georgia will be next to tumble.  Various commentators have accused Georgia of plans to disrupt the ballot in Ukraine thus keeping Yushchenko in office should he have an excuse to call a state of emergency "Plan B"

With all that is at stake one and the one billion dollar cost of the presidential campaign one has to seriously question the merit of a direct election of head of state.

Ukraine would have been better off if its head of state was elected by a two-thirds constitutional majority of Ukraine's parliament. At least the person elected would have represented a substantial majority of Ukraine whilst maintaining stability and democratic values.  Estonia, Latvia, Hungary, Moldova, Greece, Switzerland  Czech Republic and India all elect there head of state by a vote of their respective parliament.  Canada, Australia and New Zealand's head of state is appointed by the Queen of England on the recommendation of their prime-minister.
Ukraine would also be better off it it abandon the Presidential system in favor of a democratic European Parliamentary model of governance.

1 Comment:

Vlad said...

Interesting, I didn't really understand the bit about Georgians planning to disrupt the second round of elections. That sounds something like the Russian propaganda machine might create. Georgia has barely enough resources to manage its own affairs and I highly doubt they could afford to influence the Ukrainian election even if they wanted to.