Archive for September 29th, 2012

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UDAR Rally – Odessa

September 29, 2012

A very short post today relating to the UDAR/Klitschko rally in Odessa two days ago.

Quite simply a lesson for the United Opposition when it came to engagement with the crowd, which was far bigger than that which the Yatseniuk/United Opposition managed to gather (although how much of that is “hero worship” of a Ukrainian sporting icon I’m not sure), far more up-beat and inspirational that that of the Yatseniuk and United Opposition, and it even contained something close to policy.

In short, a far superior performance.

Maybe it wasn’t quite as polished and professional as Sergey Tigipko when he was here, but Tigipko is one of the very few politicians from any party who actually acts and sounds like a politician that you could transpose from Ukrainian politics into any of the EU nations political classes seamlessly – It was though, far, far better than the Yatseniuk/United Opposition performance.

It remains to be seen if such rallies actually transfer into political voting gains, but if so, PoR and UDAR will certainly dominate the Odessa political landscape and only the occasional waif and stray from the United Opposition may get their seat at the RADA trough via Odessa via proportional representation – and quite possibly face a complete wipe-out in the head to head constituency seats.

To be honest, there is a chance that UDAR could well run the United Opposition a close race in coming second if recent public performances are anything to go by.  I’m fairly sure some proportional representation votes will have moved from the United Opposition to UDAR as a result of Klitscho’s performance in Odessa, even if their candidates are weak as far as the constituency seats here go.

Nevertheless, UDAR were impressive – at least compared to the United Opposition rally – which is rather sad considering Yatseniuk used to be part of the Odessa Administration during his career and thus has a connection with the city.

That said, UDAR also has the Odessa lift of the ex-Mayor, Eduard Gurvitz on its party proportional representation ticket, who can’t help but be popular compared to the current Party of Regions Mayor.

I am starting to think that the United Opposition will be closer to the lower 150 RADA deputy number than the upper 170 RADA deputy number within the scope that I predicted some weeks ago simply due to their dreadful campaign strategy.

UDAR, on the other hand, may exceed to 40 – 50 seats I predicted if they continue to campaign as they did in Odessa for the next month.

Quite a bit still to play for too, with about 25% of the nation as yet undecided as to which way they will vote (according to most polls) and it would be a major upset for UDAR to overtake and beat the United Opposition into third place.

Should that happen though, it is no more than UDAR and the United Opposition would deserve respectively on campaign performance and strategy alone.

If nothing else, this Ukrainian election is not short of competitiveness.

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