The choice of Kharkiv: how the region voted in the 1st round
The Center for Political Analysis “Observatory of Democracy” analysed how the Kharkiv region voted in the first round of the Presidential elections.
Voting in the Kharkiv region is not only the will expression of 2.1 million voters (and the bigger amount of voters is only in Dnipropetrovsk and Kiev) but also a kind of marker. The first region after the Donbass in the “risk zone”, front-line and bordering Russia, with the traditionally strong pro-Russian sentiments, with the Kernes-Poroshenko “hybrid coalition” – the results of the 2019 elections should have shown to what extent Kharkiv is in solidarity with the political course that the president has been conducting over the past 5 years. Spoiler – Kharkiv is not in solidarity, and Boyko’s threefold advantage over the result of the current president is a vivid confirmation of that.
The first thing it is necessary to pay attention to is a high voter turnout. Traditionally, Kharkiv region was one of the outsiders in voters’ activity, and turnout here was always (!) lower than the average in Ukraine. On March 31, the situation became the opposite for the first time: 63.5 % turnout in Ukraine as a whole and 64.5 % – in Kharkiv region (with 66.8 % in Kharkiv itself, which is also surprising, because the region is always more active than the city).