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Centrist Lytvyn Bloc shows gains in polls
Journal Staff Report

KIEV, Sept. 13 – Public support for the group led by former Parliamentary Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn has increased over the past month, suggesting it may end up in Parliament after the Sept. 30 election, three independent opinion polls showed.

The emergence of the Lytvyn Bloc, a centrist group, in Parliament would probably be able to shift balances between two pro-Western and two pro-Russian parties that enjoy similar level of support.

Lytvyn has frequently sided with President Viktor Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine-People’s Self-defense, but has recently emphasized his party’s independent course.

Most opinion polls over the past month have been showing only four groups as likely winning seats in Parliament. But three polls, all based on data collected in early September, suddenly showed the Lytvyn group among the winners.

The Lytvyn group received support from 3% of those respondents that were likely to go and cast their ballots at the election, according to a poll by the Razumkov Center, a Kiev-based think tank.

A poll by TNS-Ukraine survey agency showed the Lytvyn group securing 4% of the vote, while the poll by the Social Monitoring agency indicated the group was to score 3.8%.

A party needs to collect at least 3% of the vote to be able to enter Parliament. The Lytvyn group narrowly missed Parliament last year, when it scored 2.44% at the election on March 26, 2006.

According to the Razumkov Center, other parties would score the following results:

Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych’s Regions Party got support from 33.9% of respondents, followed by the group led by former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s 23.5%, Our Ukraine-People’s Self-defense’s 13.1% and the Communist Party’s 5%.

According to the TNS-Ukraine, these parties showed the following results:

The Regions Party would get 29%, the Tymoshenko Bloc – 19%, Our Ukraine-People’s Self-defense – 10% and the Communist party – 3%.

A poll by the Social Monitoring agency showed that the Regions Party securing 36.1% of those that will most likely go to cast ballots, followed by the Tymoshenko group’s 26.5%, Our Ukraine-People’s Self-defense’s 16.5% and the Communist Party’s 3.5%.

The Razumkov Center said it polled 2,004 respondents between Sept. 1 and Sept. 10 with the margin of error at 2.3%.

TNS-Ukraine said it polled 1,200 respondents between Sept. 1 and Sept. 10 with margin of error at 2.8%.

The Social Monitoring agency said it polled 2,000 respondents between Sept. 6 and Sept. 9 with margin of error at 2.3%. (nr/ez)

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