Trust, lack thereof and everything in between: end-of-year Ukraine poll

Trust, lack thereof and everything in between: end-of-year Ukraine poll

I found a few interesting things in the Razumkov Centre and the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation‘s new poll this week (in Ukrainian).

[usual preamble: polling done from December 16 through 20th in only government-controlled areas of Ukraine (i.e., no Crimea, no “DNR/LNR”), 2,000 respondents 18+, MoE 2.3%. Graphs below are mine, which mean any errors are likely mine]

1. Trust for some, not-particularly-high-levels-of-trust for others

Razumkov/DIF has asked Ukrainians for while now how much they trust a number of social institutions, from the President to the armed forces to NGOs (pages 13 through 15 of the PDF, in the back, for anyone following along at home). I’ve picked out a few from the 25-or-so list below.

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These figures should (should) be worrying to anyone at the Bankova or the Rada – trust in the president (49% in 2014 to 24% in 2016) and in the Rada (31% to 12%) has tanked while trust in political parties (11% in 2016) is even lower. I haven’t graphed it out here but there’s obviously also been a corresponding increase in those who say they distrust the President (44% 2014: 69% 2016), the Rada (57% 2014: 81% 2016) and political parties (71% 2014: 78% in 2016). Keep in mind too that not a single individual Ukrainian politician is more trusted than distrusted (pages 5 and 6, question 7), so, ouch.

But who do Ukrainians trust more than their politicians? The armed forces, volunteer battalions, the National Guard, volunteer organizations and churches, not to mention Ukrainian media. Hmm.

2. We shall overcome, eventually

Ukrainians are less likely now than in 2014 to think the country’s “difficulties” (“труднощі” – native speakers, yell at me if there’s a better translation) will be overcome in the next few years, but I’d chalk this up more to realism than downright pessimism – the percentage of Ukrainians who say the country won’t be able to overcome its difficulties at all hasn’t significantly changed since 2014.

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3. Optimists, pessimists and everyone in between

Buried way in back on page 14 of the PDF are some stats on whether a series of situations (24 of them) have got better, worse or stayed the same over the past year. I’ve picked a few below from both times DIF/Razumkov have asked the question.

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Not too many Ukrainians felt things have got better over 2015 and 2016, but what’s most striking to me here is the percentage of Ukrainians who think the country’s international image hasn’t got better over 2016.

(I’ve drawn up the “worse” and “stayed the same” graphs separately, largely so I didn’t have to produce one graph with an absolute rainbow of shit in it.)

What do people think has got worse? Ukraine’s international image, for one, alongside social protection and the situation in Ukraine as a whole.

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The “stayed the same” graph makes sense once you’ve seen the better/worse graphs but on its own here is pretty much useless. Whatever.

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I’m not too surprised by much here, except the “Ukraine’s international image” question. What were respondents thinking exactly when they answered this?

4. Party time!

I’ve drawn up some graphs of party ratings over 2016 in DIF/Razumkov’s polls as well as KIIS’s polls for comparison.

I’ve included major (generally +5%) parties plus those scary right-wing parties that inherently must accompany any discussion of Ukrainian politics in English regardless of whether it feels like some of these parties could fit all their voters on a couple of school buses.

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Batkivshchyna’s gone up some, BPP and Samopomich have gone down some, the Opposition Bloc may have dropped a bit, Lyashko’s Radical Pitchforker Party’s generally stayed the same and Svoboda and the other three Peoples’ Front of Judaea sects are wheezing after participation ribbons. That’s about it.

I think the bigger story here – and what I’d personally like to focus on more as I nerd around with polls like these and raw data sets in 2017 – is that more Ukrainians say they don’t know who they’re going to vote for, and even more (depending on the survey) say they won’t vote at all. Yeah, looking at the jockeying and horseracing from all these parties-spun-off-from-other parties and renamed-and-renamed-again parties tells us something, but it doesn’t tell us enough. Who isn’t voting? Why? Who doesn’t know who they’re going to vote for? Why? Do their social/political attitudes differ from decided voters? And so on.

 

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