According to the Rating Group’s first public opinion poll of 2021, just over half of Ukrainians surveyed (52%) believe that the new year will be better than the one before. On the other hand, 27% of respondents aren’t expecting any changes and 18% believe this year will be worse than 2020.
The majority of Ukrainians (74%) are optimistic about the new year and only 18% are pessimistic. “Residents of Kyiv and the western regions, young people, and voters for the Servant of the People, For the Future, Ukrainian Strategy and Holos parties were more optimistic in their expectations,” the Rating Group underscored.
Meanwhile, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is taking on the new year with a 41%% trust rating. Though more than half of respondents gave him a negative trust rating (54%), he still ranks ahead of his political opponents. According to the survey results, 73% of respondents don’t trust former president Petro Poroshenko, while 69% deemed former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko untrustworthy.
The trust rating of Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, who has been serving in this post since last March, remains incredibly low. Indeed, more than half of respondents said they do not trust him and the proportion of people who don’t know who he is was greater than the number who deemed him trustworthy (25% and 14% respectively).
In the context of a hypothetical vote, Zelenskiy would still secure a victory – though not by the landslide that brought him into the presidency in 2019. Overall, just 22.5% of respondents said they would vote for the current president. Pro-Russian politician Yuriy Boyko came in second place with 14.3%, followed by Poroshenko with 11.4% and Tymoshenko with 9%.
Similarly, in terms of parliamentary politics, the ruling party, Servant of the People, remains in the lead with 18.4% support overall, followed by Opposition Platform – For Life (14.8%), European Solidarity (12.3%) and Batkivshchyna (9.3%).
In short, as the survey results make clear, the public opinion of both President Zelenskiy and Servant of the People is coming into alignment with how Ukrainians feel about other politicians and political parties.
This article originally appeared in FPRI's BMB Ukraine newsletter. Click here to learn more about BMB Ukraine and subscribe to the newsletter.