Current Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovych was elected in 2009 by a comfortable margin, scoring about 48% of the vote to Yulia Tymoshenko’s 45% in the final found of run-off votes. But, a new poll indicates that, if he were up for re-election today, he would not have such easy success.
According to one poll conducted by market research company GfK Ukraine, boxer-turned-politician Vitali Klitschko would beat current president Viktor Yanukovych by a substantial margin if the election was held now. Their poll shows that Klitschko could get 38% of the vote, compared with Yanukovuych’s 19%. Yulia Tymoshenko lags far behind them both, but still has some supporters, showing 9% of the vote in the poll.
This is unsurprising, as Yanukovych’s approval rating has been unsteady in the wake of economic and political woes. About 17% of Ukrainians approved of Yanukovych’s leadership when polled in December of 2011; by April of 2012, that number had dropped to about 13% before recovering this year.
Experts warn, however, that it is far too soon to talk seriously about Klitschko’s prospects in the 2015 election, nor is this poll enough to draw definitive conclusions. A lot can happen in the next two years that could affect the outcome of any election.
Vitali Klitschko has given interviews to press outlets recently and has expressed interest in becoming president. The next few years of Ukrainian politics will be interesting to watch.