NewsUkrainian polls suggest Zelensky faces tough re-election battle

Ukrainian polls suggest Zelensky faces tough re‑election battle

Volodymyr Zelensky and Valerii Zaluzhny would make it to the second round of elections if they were held right now.
Volodymyr Zelensky and Valerii Zaluzhny would make it to the second round of elections if they were held right now.
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12:16 PM EDT, March 10, 2024

Ukraine's last presidential elections occurred between March and April of 2019. Volodymyr Zelensky secured a notable victory, capturing 73.22 percent of the votes in the second round and defeating Petro Poroshenko, who conceded after a significant loss in the runoff.
In Ukraine, the president serves a five-year term and is eligible for only one re-election, similar to the process in Poland. Typically, Ukrainians would be gearing up for the upcoming elections, with the presidential campaign moving into its crucial stage. However, the landscape has dramatically shifted in recent years.

According to Ukrainian law, elections cannot proceed during a state of war, which is currently engulfing the nation. This rule has postponed parliamentary elections, initially scheduled for October 2023, and presidential elections, with the first round planned for March 2024.

A survey conducted by the SOCIS company for the Ukrainian website Censor.NET reveals interesting perspectives on the political landscape. Despite the ongoing conflict with Russia and the nation's focus on defense, internal politics remains an area of interest for Ukrainians.

In a scenario where the elections took place in early March 2024, Zelensky would progress to the second round, obtaining 21.7 percent of the votes. However, a new formidable opponent has emerged: Valerii Zaluzhnyi. Formerly the chief commander of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Zaluzhnyi was appointed Ukraine's ambassador to the United Kingdom on March 7, 2024, following his designation as "unfit for military service."

Zaluzhnyi is held in high regard within Ukraine, and his transition to a diplomatic role has ignited speculation about a potential political career. Though he hasn't formally announced his candidacy for the presidency, the political tide could shift.
The survey suggests Zaluzhnyi would command about 31.3 percent of the votes in the first round. In the second round, his victory appears more decisive, potentially garnering support around 67.5 percent.
Further exploring parliamentary prospects, "Censor.NET" found that a hypothetical party led by Zaluzhnyi could achieve a significant majority, with 34.2 percent of the vote, including undecided voters, and an impressive 46.4 percent excluding them.
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