Ukrainian political polling agencies in bed with Poroshenko regime, experts say

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KIEV, February 7. /TASS/. Ukraine’s leading polling organizations cooperate with the Poroshenko government, and the data provided by them does not always reflect the real picture being part of election technology, Ukrainian experts told TASS.

“Ukraine’s five leading polling companies are cooperating with the presidential administration,” said political scientist Konstantin Bondarenko, head of the Ukrainian Politics Foundation. According to the expert, their ratings “do not reflect the real picture showing only general trends and the degree of protest voting rather than support for a certain candidate.”

In his view, these agencies currently “add a few percent to Poroshenko’s approval rating and subtract the same number from his rival Yulia Timoshenko.” Data from opinion polls is likely to change, he added. “I believe Poroshenko will take the lead in the polls a few weeks before the election, so these ratings are also used to justify future manipulations by the Poroshenko administration,” Bondarenko concluded.

For his part, Ruslan Bortnik, Director of the Ukrainian Institute for Policy Analysis and Management, stressed that these statistics were “part of the election technology and are published in order to shape public opinion.”

“Sociologists have proved that about 20%-30% of the population vote for the winner of the polls,” he stressed. Most of real ratings are never published, he added. Bortnik noted that the data provided by three or five leading sociological companies, such as Rating Group and the Kiev International Institute of Sociology, is indicative and can be discussed and analyzed.

The high approval rating of Ukrainian showman Vladimir Zelensky who, according to the latest polls, is supported by about 20% of voters stems from Ukrainians’ desire to see new faces in politics, the expert pointed out.

He noted though that “most of those who say they will vote for Zelensky, and these are people under the age of 25, are unlikely to go to the polling stations.” “Zelensky is a convenient choice for those who do not know who to vote for,” he explained.

According to the latest opinion polls, the comedian has the best chances of winning the presidential election. The second and third places are shared by Yulia Timoshenko, leader of the Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) Party, and incumbent President Pyotr Poroshenko followed by Yuri Boiko, leader of the Opposition Platform – for Life, and Anatoly Gritsenko, leader of the Civil Initiative party.

Ukraine’s presidential election is scheduled for March 31. To date, the Ukrainian Central Election Commission has registered 37 candidates. The deadline for submitting documents for registration expired on February 3.

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