According to the All-Ukrainian exit poll updated data, the three leaders of the presidential election remain unchanged: Volodymyr Zelensky with 30.9% is ahead, then Poroshenko with 18.8% comes, and the third place belongs to Yuliya Tymoshenko with 13.7%.
Although the Central Election Commission processed only three-quarters of the protocols, the trend is still the same. And, according to it, Zelensky and Poroshenko will meet in the second round of elections. The rest are defeated.
Not for the first time
Actually, almost all the participants of elections are experienced politicians. And this means that they are able to keep emotions inside and make a good face during a bad game. Only Zelensky has not mastered such art. But his first place does not require restraint - the candidate can radiate quite sincere joy.
"I feel fine, there is a little excitement, ‘cause I'm a man. My wife is next to me, my friends ... This is just a very big responsibility. I understand what this responsibility is," Zelensky assured the media. And he added that he "does not care" what candidate will meet with him in the second round. “Thank God, it’s not me who decides, but the people of Ukraine,” he said.
Other sentiments dominated in the Petro Poroshenko’s headquarters. “I critically and soberly understand the signal that society is giving today to the current government. This is a harsh lesson for me and for our entire team. This is an absolutely serious reason for meticulously working on the mistakes we made in recent years,” said the head of state.
And in order to win a second round, the current president is ready to resort to "a deep and substantive dialogue with those whom he could not convince before the first round."
But the second round will take place only in three weeks. The candidate with the "bronze", that is, Yuliya Tymoshenko would use this time, most likely, to promote the main thesis: in fact, she won, but this victory was stolen from her.
“The fate of the second place of the presidential election would remain uncertain until the counting of the protocols with wet seals,” she emphasized during the first post-election press conference in Kyiv.
Will this mean that after the official decision of the CEC she will calm down? Not necessary. Tymoshenko draws attention to the fact that the exit poll conducted by her Batkivshchyna party brought her to the second place. That is why she promises to organize parallel counting of votes "from each polling station."
Tymoshenko’s headquarters will receive "copies of protocols in electronic form" and then demonstrate them to the public. What will happen if the data of the CEC and the Batkivschyna will not match, it is still unknown.
A parallel counting of votes is also promised by the fourth-place candidate, Yuriy Boyko. However, the founder of the "Opposition platform - For Life" notes the "legitimate methods" of such a calculation. "We always have an understatement on exit polls, because people are just afraid to talk.
I am sure that during the counting of votes we will have additional reserves. We don’t know how much it will be, but it’s already clear that approximately 20% of the people who were interviewed refused to answer who they voted for, and we believe that our votes are there, "he says. At the same time, Yuriy Boyko notes he is pleased with the exit poll results and adds that immediately after the presidential election his team begins preparations for parliamentary elections.
The fifth-place winner, Anatoliy Hrytsenko, who received a little more than 7% support from the polled voters, did not estimate the exit poll ratings. He only noted that his team made efforts to ensure that the expression of will was fair and transparent.
The future voting
Political technologist Mykhailo Podolyak proposes to look at a map of the country, where support for Volodymyr Zelensky is evenly distributed, and support of Petro Poroshenko is overwhelmed in some regions. “Positive consolidation will certainly occur around Zelensky,” Podoliak predicts.
Another forecast was also made in social networks by MP of previous convocations, former associate of Tymoshenko Andriy Shkil. “Partially votes (for candidates who lost) will go to Zelensky, partially to Poroshenko, but the majority won't go to anyone, because voters will not come to the polling stations,” he writes.
The fact that some voters ignore the second round is not ruled out by other political analysts. Some add that Poroshenko’s potential electorate will mobilize in the face of a threat.
Deputy Director of the Institute for the Extremism Study Bohdan Petrenko is convinced that a direct indication of the candidate who lost will not make a great impression on the voter. Politicians who have gone the distance may call for voting for anyone, but the decision will eventually be made by people.
"As for the one to whom the votes will go, everything will depend on the main messages that will be heard in the next three weeks," he says.
On the other hand, experts point to a nuance that falls out of sight of many people. For candidates who took part in the elections and lost the first round, it will not so easy to agitate their voters to support someone else.
After all, the parliamentary elections are at stake, and party leaders need to keep their mark and not dissipate their ranks, giving voters to potential rivals. Otherwise, this fall they will face an unpleasant reality: their electorate will be taken by the winners.
“Here you have to be very careful, this is where the art of politics is shown,” says expert Karasiov.
No Tymoshenko’s Maidan
As a matter of fact, the art of politics is forcing Yuliya Tymoshenko to now portray the victim of injustice and demand from the authorities and society to recognize her victory in the first round.
This opinion is told by the above-quoted Bohdan Petrenko. He argues that the strategical leader of Batkivshchyna is acting correctly, because in any case, regardless of whether there were frauds or not, she needs to accelerate the wave.
This is necessary for Tymoshenko in the context of the upcoming parliamentary elections, the expert is convinced.
The image of the main oppositionist, persecuted by the authorities, will come in handy again and again. But the fact is that now media are already thinking in terms of the second round, in which Poroshenko and Zelensky are participating.
That is, Tymoshenko does not determine the information agenda. “The news that she has gathered some kind of rally (under the CEC or somewhere else) may take place, but it will not be on the front pages. Because for the mass media, it is already yesterday,” says Petrenko.
And Vadym Karasiov adds that powerful protest actions could have occurred if Zelensky had lost because here the fraud with the votes would have been too obvious, and this would anger the society, regardless of its attitude to the specified character.
Yuliya Tymoshenko cannot be such a catalyst. In addition, she is not interested in outraged masses, because her goal lies on a different plane.
“Considering that we are moving towards a parliamentary-presidential republic with a strong prime minister, Yuliya Tymoshenko has the opportunity to get good chances in the next parliament. Nothing is finished for her - everything just began,” Karasiov said.
In the same way, he interprets the information spread by the MP Mustafa Nayem about combining the efforts of Zelensky and Tymoshenko in the second round of elections.
Integration with Zelensky is a serious target for parliamentary elections. "The result will now depend on what Zelensky offers to partners for victory in the second round," Karasiov sums up.
As Nayem writes in his Telegram channel, Volodymyr Zelensky and Yuliya Tymoshenko are allegedly on the verge of signing a memorandum on the creation of a parliamentary coalition.
According to the MP, the main task of this coalition is to change the legislation and introduce a two-round system of parliamentary elections, according to which "the party that wins receives 51% of seats in parliament, forms the majority and, accordingly, the composition of the Cabinet of Ministers."
Zelensky's headquarters call such information nonsense. Perhaps it is. But the fact that all active talks with all sides continue now, is beyond doubt. Actually, the talks began in the evening of the March 31st, when sociologists published conclusions on exit polls.
How will such negotiations end? We will know about it in three weeks.