Tymoshenko To Win West Ukraine, Lose Presidential Vote - Survey

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko will beat opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych in western Ukraine but will not do well enough in the east to win the presidential election, a survey said.

Yulia Tymoshenko

Strong backing for Tymoshenko in traditionally nationalist western areas of the country will not outweigh support for Yanukovych in predominantly Russian-speaking eastern and southern parts of the country, Research&Branding Group reported on Thursday.

Yanukovych won the first round of Ukraine's presidential elections on January 17, and faces runner-up Tymoshenko in the second round on February 7.

According to the survey, Tymoshenko is ahead in western Ukraine with the support of 60.6% of voters, but in the central Ukraine she has 42% and only 11.9% in the southeast.

Yanukovych is polling at 14.2% in the west, 29.3% in central Ukraine and 69.2% in the southeast, giving him 44.9% nationwide, against 31.6% for Tymoshenko.

The poll was carried out on January 19-25 among 3,108 respondents in 24 populated areas of Ukraine.

Tymoshenko last week accused Yanukovych of attempting to secure victory in the second round by bribing losing candidates from the first round with the promise of seats in the parliament.

Yanukovych hit back on Thursday during a visit to Simferopol by accusing the prime minister of trying to sabotage voting in areas where he is expected to do best.

"I am 100% confident that Tymoshenko is trying to disrupt the elections on the south-east of Ukraine," Yanukovych said in comments broadcast on Crimean TV, adding that he would impede these plans.

Yanukovych won 35% of the vote in the first round, 10 percentage points more than Tymoshenko.

Source: RIA Novosti