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Research says Ukrainian voters divide in terms of geopolitical and language opinions

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Oct. 11, 2012, 3:54 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

A majority of the supporters of the Regions Party and the Communist Party support Ukraine's entering the Customs Union, but Batkivschyna United Opposition, UDAR Party of Vitali Klitschko, Svoboda and Ukraine-Forward! Party of Natalia Korolevska voters prefer Ukraine's integration with the European Union.
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A majority of the supporters of the Regions Party and the Communist Party support Ukraine's entering the Customs Union, but Batkivschyna United Opposition, UDAR Party of Vitali Klitschko, Svoboda and Ukraine-Forward! Party of Natalia Korolevska voters prefer Ukraine's integration with the European Union.

According to the results of a poll entitled "Elections 2012: Party Structure and Political Structuring of Society," which was conducted by Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation and Razumkov Centre, 69% of supporters of the Regions Party support Ukraine's joining the Customs Union. At the same time 77% of the voters oppose Ukraine entering NATO; 49% of respondents are against entering the European Union, while 30% are for this.

"So it's possible to say that supporters of the Regions Party are split concerning entering EU, as are the members of this party," head of the Ukrainian Sociology Centre Oleksandr Vyshniak said, commenting on the results of the poll.

Moreover, 79% of Communists Party supporters support joining the Customs Union; and 73% oppose Ukraine joining the EU.

United Opposition supporters lean more towards the EU (65% are for entering the EU, 57% against joining the Customs Union). The same goes for the UDAR Party (69% for EU, 47% against the Customs Union), Svoboda (64% for EU, 69% against the Customs Union), and Ukraine-Forward! Party (64% support joining EU, and 43% of voters are against the Customs Union).

Voters from all political forces tend to oppose Ukraine's joining NATO: Batkivschyna – 55%, UDAR – 49%, Ukraine-Forward! 63%, and Svoboda – 42%. At the same time, supporters of Vitali Klitschko party, 34%, have not decided their opinion about joining the alliance yet.

A split between the voters of the leading parties also exists regarding granting the Russian language the status of an official language. In particular, 94% of the voters of Svoboda Party are against this; 85% of Batkivschyna supporters also have a negative attitude; 74% of UDAR party electors treat it negatively, and 53% of Natalia Korolevska Party voters are against. In contrast, 67% of the supporters of the Regions Party and 62% of the Communist Party support the idea of having Russian as a second official language.

"Today it's possible to say that the main and principal differences between the parties are in geopolitics and the language-cultural opinions of their voters," Vyshniak said.

According to the poll, 42% of Ukrainians said that the parties stand not for the people's interests, but only for those of their leaders and financial-economic groups; 38% said that the parties do not stick to their elections programs and aims; 34% said that the parties are financed predominantly by the oligarchs; and 35% said that the parties have no real connection with citizens.

From August 10 to August 15 2,009 respondents from eighteen years old were polled. The research was held in 132 residential areas (79 towns and 53 villages). The poll's margin of error does not exceed 2.3%.

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