January 2, is the start of the media blackout in which public opinion polls can not be published before the first round of voting for the presidential election scheduled for January 17, two weeks away.
All the polls have been consistent and show that Viktor Yanukovych and Yulia Tymoshenko will face off in a second round run-off ballot expected to be held on February 7.
The only certainty in the election is that Ukraine's incumbent president Victor Yushchenko will not be reelected to serve a second term. 17 candidates, four from his own party, are running against him.
Yushchenko has less then 4% support and is well behind Yanukovych and Tysmoehnko who are in first and second place. The nearest competitor in third place, Sergei Tigipko, is 10 percentage points behind Tymoshenko.
The polls have shown little shift in voters intention over the course of the campaign. Only the two highest polling candidates can progress to the second round ballot.
Much of the campaign has been Yulia Tymoshenko defending herself against the attacks made by Victor Yushchenko who is hell bent on seeking revenge. Yushchenko appears to be campaigning for his past rival Viktor Yanukovych who is relatively safe in first position and only needs to sit back and let Yushchenko do the work for him.
Of course this is just the entree, the real campaign is what follows the preliminary ballot. The election is a marathon not a sprint. It pays not to exhaust all your energy in the first round.
With Yushchenko out of the contest, but no doubts still hard at work campaigning against Tymoshenko, the task ahead for Yulia will not be easy. Yanukovych has not yet spent all his ammunition and we can expect that the main fireworks are still waiting to be launched.
There is ongoing speculation that Yushchenko having faced the reality of his defeat has cut a deal to assist Yanukovych in securing victory in exchange for a plum position should he be able to deliver victory to the remaining Viktor.- A possible Ambassadorship to the US perhaps?
|Candidate||KISS||FOM - Ukraine||Research & Branding Group|
|Will Not vote||5.00%||3.50%|
|Margin for error||2.50%||3.20%||1.80%|