ANOTHER UPDATE 05:00 Kyiv time, 29 March. This will probably be my last update before the protocols processed finally reach 100%. Below you can see how the trends noted in the initial updates continue, but slowly. I do not see much likelihood that Regions will wind up at 33%, let alone the 35% that Dan, of Orange Ukraine, projected. The comment thread to Dan’s post is highly recommended for some regional data breakdowns provided there.
FURTHER UPDATE 20:16 Kyiv time, 28 March: Now with 87% counted, continued slippage for Orange, but still a clear majority (with Socialists); Regions (Yanukovych) still not quite at 31%. Updated figures below. Also, Dan McMinn says that there are pro-Ynaukovych areas that lag in the processing. He believes Regions will wind up around 35%. [Looking at the Ukrainian-language page he refers to, however, it does not appear to me that the processing lag is nearly as great as it was when Dan made that estimate, though it is indeed clear that some of the strongest Orange regions have reported more completely.] It is worth noting that even if it does wind up around 35%, Regions’ share would still be in line with the average pre-election estimates, and below the 2004 official first-round result. I will continue updating the numbers here periodcally.
UPDATE 02:42 Kyiv time, 28 March: The Regions share has been creeping upward, and the Orange shares downward, despite what I said earlier about the partial results probably not affecting Yanukovych’s total. I have updated the numerical estimates, and will do so as time permits until final results are known. Although the changes in votes are minor in themselves, they appear to be just enough to deny the two largest Orange parties a majority in parliament without also bringing in the Socialists.
Yes, of course, Yanukovych’s Party of Regions won a plurality of votes in Ukraine’s parliamentary election on Sunday, and so it is being spun this morning in various media outlets as a comeback for Yanukovych and a “rebuke” to the Orange Revolution.
However, as I said yesterday, any vote share for Party of Regions below the mid thirty percent range would be a major defeat, given that Yanukovych was credited with over 39% of the vote in the first, multicandidate, round of the 2004 presidential election.
Results from the Central Election Commission, with about
61 87 93% of protocols processed, put Regions at only 29 30.7 31.3% of the vote. A glance at the page of results by oblast does not show any potential [I should have said major] bias in the distribution of reporting against Yanukovych strongholds. (In fact, quite the opposite, as Donetsk was one of the first regions to have processed 60% of its voting precincts–at a time when the national level of reporting was still around 40%.)
President Viktor Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine also performed poorly, with only around
16 14.9 14.5%. However, the other main Orange party, the bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko, scored a stronger-than-expected 23 22.5% [no change since previous update]. I argued here on Saturday morning (and actually back in September, as well) that the separate lists for the two main Orange parties likely would increase their appeal to the broad range of voters who supported the Orange Revolution, but for different reasons.
The combined vote of the two Orange parties is about
39 37.4 37.0%. Would a single party backed by Yushchenko have done this well? Possibly not. On the one hand, it is roughly equivalent to a couple of percentage points behind Yushchenko’s acknowledged vote in the first round of the 2004 presidential election. On the other hand, Yushchenko’s popularity has declined significantly, and the Tymoshenko bloc allowed voters to vote against Yushchenko, yet for Orange.
Seat totals will be a bit higher than vote totals for all parties that cleared the 3% threshold. In these partial results, around 22% of the votes were cast either for parties too small to win representation or “against all” (1.7%).
So, Tymoshenko’s party has about 29% of the “effective” vote* and thus should have around
133 130 seats [again, no change]. Our Ukraine should have approximately 87 86 84. That would leave them just short of having a majority on their own. A smaller party that has cooperated with the Orange Revolution, the Socialists ( 6.5 6.0 5.9%) also made it over the threshold, and it should have around 37 35 34 seats. It would be part of any governing coalition that was formed without Regions.
The Bloc of Lytvyn (2.5%), which also has cooperated with the Orange, appears to have just missed returning to the new parliament.
The Communist Party (3.6%) will be in, while Pora-PRP (1.5%) did not make it. The extreme opposition Vitrenko bloc and a Ukrainian nationalist party now appear also to be among the many small parties that did not clear the threshold. [Vitrenko has been creeping closer, but almost certainly will not make it; now at 2.75%.]
*Defined as a party’s vote divided by the sum for all parties clearing 3%.