Ukraine election: Volodymyr Zelensky's party triumphs as exit polls predict parliamentary majority for former comedian

Oliver Carroll

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky appears to pulled off another extraordinary act, with voters giving his party a commanding victory in Sunday’s general elections.

Exit polls indicated that Mr Zelensky would fall short of the 226 seats required to form a single-party majority, thus requiring him to seek coalition partners. But the strong projected showing preferred coalition partners Holos, fronted by singer Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, means the president now will be able form a workable coalition on preferable terms.

The polling data, released at 8pm local time, suggested that Mr Zelensky’s Servant of the People party would win 44.4 per cent of the vote. The pro-Russia Opposition Platform For Life comes next with 12.5 per cent. European Solidarity, the vehicle of former president Petro Poroshenko, is projected third with 8.5 per cent. Fatherland, the vehicle of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko is on 7.7 per cent. Holos is the last to pass the 5 per cent parliamentary barrier on 6 per cent.

Ukraine’s complicated, mixed first-past-the-post and party list voting system means that it will be some while before an exact picture is formed.

Mr Zelensky described today’s vote as “maybe more important than the presidential election.” He had asked for a convincing mandate to implement his legislative programme — which includes stripping immunity for deputies, a tax amnesty and extending lustration, the process of barring previous officials from power.

The vote completes a remarkable year for Ukraine in which voter dissatisfaction has forced a full-house reset of both executive and legislative branches.