19 July, 2019
Why does rating political parties in terms of how much hope they inspire provide such a different picture from the results of official opinion polls?
From July 13 to July 17, the Open Mind Foundation’s sociological group, the Foundation for the Study of Mass Emotions, conducted a representative survey among Ukrainians over the age of 18 about their attitude to the 13 political parties participating in Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (national parliamentary) elections.
During the survey, a stochastic stratified all-Ukrainian sample was used: 603 respondents from all regions of the country. Stratification takes into account the region where the respondents reside as well as the type of community they live in (urban vs. rural). This means that the answers of the survey participants accurately reflect the public opinion of the whole Ukraine (with a marginal error probability of 4%).
The researchers propose that the results of this survey shouldn’t be considered as an attempt to predict the outcome of parliamentary elections, but as a picture of what emotional expectations Ukrainians have regarding their politicians: what political forces they pin their hopes on and why; who makes them hope for a better life. Ratings of fear and humiliation show which political parties generate the most negative emotions among the inhabitants of the country.
During the survey, respondents could choose any of the three primary mass emotions (hope, fear, humiliation) for all 13 parties from the list. Therefore, the share of emotions for each party does not add up to 100%.
Sociologists did not specifically use the names of party leaders in questions about emotions. Thus, researchers learned how Ukrainians recognize parties when the names of their leaders aren’t expressly mentioned.
The respondents' greatest hope comes from the entry into the Verkhovna Rada of SERVANT OF THE PEOPLE (Sluga Narodu) (61.6%); the least hope was evoked by the Radical Party (13.4%).
Here are the reasons respondents gave for why the party SERVANT OF THE PEOPLE (Sluga Narodu) made them feel hopeful and how they were distributed:
Ukrainians are most afraid of the Opposition Bloc entering the Verkhovna Rada - 36.3% of those polled said they were afraid that the bloc would gain seats in the country's parliament. The least fear was caused by the party VOICE (Holos) (13.1%).
The reasons why the prospect of the bloc entering the Verkhovna Rada causes fear among Ukrainians:
The most destructive negative emotion, humiliation, was evoked among 45.1% of respondents by the possibility of the Radical Party entering parliament. This result coincides with the results of the OMF survey conducted during the first round of the presidential campaign in Ukraine. According to the results of eight waves of polls during the first round (2,750 respondents), the Radical Party’s leader Oleg Lyashko evoked the most humiliation of any candidate among the respondents: 49%. The party SERVANT OF THE PEOPLE (Sluga Narodu) evoked the least humiliation: 12%.
Reasons why the Radical Party evokes a sense of Humiliation among Ukrainians:
Clash of the emotions of generations
The survey revealed that the emotional attitudes towards political parties vary significantly between different generations. The largest variation was found between young Ukrainians (age 18-29) and the elderly (60+ years). The party with which all generations were able to relate relatively evenly also inspired the most hope: SERVANT OF THE PEOPLE (Sluga Narodu).
The most obvious examples of the difference in emotional responses between different generations
This imbalance in the emotions generated within different generations aptly reflects one fact: the chances of entering the Parliament of Ukraine are greatest for parties that inspire the most hope among the generation that participates most actively in the elections.
To get the full results of the survey, send a request to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Analytical Group, Open Mind Foundation