Project “Election 2019.” The presidential race in Ukraine: how emotions become votes

Project “Election 2019.” The presidential race in Ukraine: how emotions become votes

Project head: Savik Shuster, OMF president

For the first time in the history of electoral sociology, we are studying the effect of voters' emotions on their political choices. Our project will show which feelings the presidential candidates evoke among the populace and how those feelings become votes.

For the ballot, we’ve selected ten officially-registered candidates, the majority of whom are "non-viable," in order to understand Ukrainians' emotional stance toward a broad spectrum of politicians representing various strategic positions and age groups.

Teenagers between the ages of 16 and 18 are also eligible to participate in the project. Although these young people are not yet old enough to vote, their feelings about today’s politicians are of the utmost importance for Ukraine's future.

Savik Shuster continues his study of the three basic collective emotions in Ukraine: hope, fear, and humiliation, which he launched in the fall of 2016 and described in his book Freedom of Speech vs. Fear and Humiliation. The current project features a fourth emotion, pride, but only with regard to a single candidate,  current President Petro Poroshenko. People may evaluate his achievements as evoking a sense of pride.

The more Ukrainians participate in the online voting, the more revealing our project's findings will be.


In the study we use a single questionnaire and two approaches: scientific and casual.

The questions are posed in such a way as not only to determine the participant’s predominant emotion regarding the presidential candidate, but also to learn the underlying reasons for that emotion.

A casual approach is used when displaying the results of the online voting on the project website A software program shows the total number of people who have currently shared their emotions regarding the candidates on the website. These findings are specified on the website as "public."

Undoubtedly, various campaign offices will get involved in this online survey, the interest groups of supporters and opponents will be formed, and we will learn more about the mobilization capacity of each given candidate.

A scientific approach will be employed in publishing the findings of the surveys, which will be conducted twice a week by the sociological agency OMF. We are calling these findings "representative," and they may be seen on the project webpage by switching between "public voting" and "representative".

The findings of the representative surveys reflect the opinion of all the inhabitants of Ukraine with maximum accuracy (a 5% margin of error).

In the first representative survey, conducted February 17–24, 1,000 Ukrainians took part. Respondents are selected using a stratified stochastic selection method, and they reflect the demographic and geographic makeup of the inhabitants of Ukraine. The results of this survey will soon be published on the website.


To participate in the online voting, users must register on the website. Participation is anonymous, but we ask that you provide your demographic information—sex, age, education, occupation, and place of residence. This information helps to paint the most accurate sociological portrait of the project’s participants.

Points are awarded for each vote. Users who exceed the average number of points are entered in a weekly drawing for chances to win fun prizes.


This project is not dependent on a single commercial or political organization. It is exclusively funded by the project head and by sales of the book Freedom of Speech vs. Fear and Humiliation.

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