Tymoshenko Bloc Gains Support In Ukraine

KIEV, Ukraine -- Public backing for Ukraine’s opposition Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc has increased as the Party of Regions (PR) has lost momentum, according to a poll by FOM-Ukraine.

Yulia Tymoshenko signing autographs in Kiev on Independence Day

29.5 per cent of respondents would back the PR of prime minister Viktor Yanukovych in September’s legislative election, down 1.5 points since June.

The Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc is second with 18.3 per cent—up 3.3 points in two months—followed by the coalition of president Viktor Yushchenko’s People’s Union-Our Ukraine (NS-NU) and the People’s Self-Defence Bloc with 14 per cent.

Support is lower for the Communist Party of Ukraine (KPU), the Volodymyr Lytvyn Bloc, and the Socialist Party of Ukraine (SPU).

Ukrainian voters renewed the Supreme Council in March 2006.

The PR won 186 seats in the legislative branch, followed by the Tymoshenko Bloc with 129, the NS-NU with 81, the SPU with 33, and the KPU with 21 mandates.

Parties require at least three per cent of the vote to qualify for proportional representation seats in the Supreme Council.

In July, the "anti-crisis" coalition—which includes Yanukovych’s PR, Oleksandr Moroz’s SPU and the KPU—was formally announced.

In August, Yanukovych was confirmed as prime minister, while Yushchenko remained as president.

On Apr. 2, Yushchenko dissolved the Supreme Council and called an early ballot.

On May 27, Yushchenko and Yanukovych agreed to hold the election on Sept. 30.

On Aug. 24, Yushchenko called for a new constitution in order to resolve disputes over the powers of the different branches of government.

The president said he would call for a constitutional council to begin the revision process, and then call for a public vote to ratify the changes to the charter.

Yushchenko declared: "I know how to restore order in our Ukrainian house. (...) This process will take longer than a day but nobody will be able to make it too long. It also cannot be a hostage of the election, as it is very important for each of us. I firmly repeat what I said two months ago on Constitution Day: our constitution will be adopted at a nationwide Ukrainian referendum."

Polling Data

Which of these parties would you vote for in the legislative election?

Party of Regions - 29.5%(Aug) 31.0%(Jun)

Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc - 18.3%(Aug) 15.0%(Jun)

People’s Union-Our Ukraine - 14.0%(Aug) 14.3%(Jun)

Communist Party of Ukraine - 3.6%(Aug) 4.1%(Jun)

Volodymyr Lytvyn Bloc - 2.1%(Aug) n.a.(Jun)

Socialist Party of Ukraine - 0.9%(Aug) 1.7%(Jun)

Methodology: Interviews with 2,000 Ukrainian adults, conducted from Aug. 9 to Aug. 19, 2007. Margin of error is 2.2 per cent.

Source: Angus Reid