As we could see from Table 1, the overwhelming majority of adult population (70.3%) is going to take part in the upcoming presidential election. Such level of intention to participate in the election could be explained not only by importance of presidential election as compared to, for example, parliamentary election, but also by the fact that many our fellow citizens are dissatisfied with A. Lukashenko’s ruling and hope to change it at the election.

Table 1. Distribution of answers to the question: “Are you going to participate in the future presidential election?”

* Variants “Find it difficult to answer” and “No answer” are omitted here and in most cases below

In particular, we could judge it from Table 2, which shows that today more than one third of adult population (33.8%) is dissatisfied with A. Lukashenko’s ruling. And over the last six months the number of those satisfied with his ruling has dropped.

Table  2. Dynamics of distribution of answers to the question: “Are you satisfied with A. Lukashenko’s ruling?”, %

As a rule, respondents’ answers are mostly affected by momentary impressions of latest events, rather than long-term assessments of authorities’ performance. Therefore, one could suppose that in April A. Lukashenko’s image was seriously affected by his clumsy attempt to criticize the new favorite of Belarusians, V. Putin, regarding administrative reforms in Russia, which entailed a solidary discredit campaign by major Russian TV channels. And the number of those willing to elect A. Lukashenko for another term plummeted (see Table 3).

Table 3. Dynamics of distribution of answers to the question: “Would you like A. Lukashenko to be the president for another?”, %

The results of an open rating (See Table 4) show that today 37.2% of the population would have voted for A. Lukashenko at the presidential election. All other politicians could not achieve a comparable rating even altogether. And each one of them, including M. Chigir, had rating leveling within the margin of error. However, over the last two months A. Lukashenko’s rating went down 4.2%, whereas his possible rivals – gained in this respect. Especially M. Chigir’s rating crept up noticeably – by 3.3%.

Table 4. Dynamics of distribution of answers to the question: “If the presidential election has taken place tomorrow, whom would you vote for?”, % (open question)

* Names of those who received more than 0.5% and were mentioned in the latest survey are included

Such dynamics is observed regardless of the defamation campaign against all politicians, whom press announced as possible competitors to A. Lukashenko, launched by state-run mass media, and first of all, electronic. The notorious administrative resource is of no use; it was “applied” with regard to the second All-Belarusian Congress scheduled for mid-May – a non-constitutional body, aimed at “nation-wide” nominating A. Lukashenko for presidency.

But even in such conditions more than one third of the electorate is ready to vote in favor of A. Lukashenko, whereas against him or not determined yet – almost 1.7fold more. This considerable majority remains unconsolidated, sprayed between several possible contenders, or still could not give preference to anyone. However, we believe that the majority of voters will not cast their votes for A. Lukashenko.

A close to the open rating results brought answers to the question, whom of today’s Belarusian politicians would respondents like to have a dinner with (See Table 5). It is clear that they were motivated by political, rather than gastronomic interests.

Table 5. Distribution of answers to the question: “Who of today’s Belarusian politicians would you like to have a dinner with?” (open question)

* Other politicians received less than 1% of votes

Quite different answers are given when respondents shall determine: representative of which social-political group they would like to see the president. In this case attitude towards personality of this or that politician moves to background, and an anonymous representative of a group, which respondents believe to suit their interests at most, is chosen. In this case some of those who in the open rating gave preference to A. Lukashenko only because they did not see a “worthy” candidate, voted in a different way. This follows from Table 6. As one could note, though A. Lukashenko still enjoys some advantage over anonymous competitors, it went down considerably, whereas positions of his rivals strengthened sharply. Also it could not slip by unnoticed that the number of those who have not determined their choice fell. Therefore, if in the open rating all A. Lukashenko’s competitors received 19.5% of votes in total (while there were 43.3% of those not yet determined), but answering questions of Table 6 they got 44.3% (not determined their choice – only 22.1%).

Table 6. Distribution of answers to the question: “Whom would you like to see the president of Belarus?”, %

Thus, A. Lukashenko is no longer the only figure on the political stage of the country. If in November of 2000 32.0% of the electorate wanted him to be the future president, and independent candidate or opposition candidate – 30.8%, today their ratings amount to 33.6% and 39.7%, respectively.

But it is necessary to vote for a concrete candidate, and every voter shall take decision on his/her own. To this purpose we would consider sociological data, which allow to assess approximate chances of concrete contenders. As Table 7 shows, the population likes Z. Poznyak, A. Lukashenko and M. Chigir less of all. Degree of negative attitude towards other politicians is much lower. It is worth looking at the line “Not determined”, which combines options “Do not know him/her”, “Find it difficult to answer”, and “No answer”. It seems that the number of answers in this line – is the potential, which could be turned both in favor of a certain contender and against him/her. It could be noted that under favorable conditions all contenders could beat A. Lukashenko.

Table 7. Distribution of answers to the question: “Below is the list of well known people in Belarus. Whom do you like of them or do not like?”, %

As we could see from Table 8, A. Lukashenko (39.8%) leads the positive closed rating of major contenders with a big gap behind him (in February it was 45.7%). His closest rival, M. Chigir (17.9%), lags behind more than twofold. V. Goncharic (10.1%) and S. Domash (8.1%) remain further behind. But if compared to February, their ratings increased considerably.

Table 8. Distribution of answers to the question: “For whom of them are you ready to vote , and for whom you are unlikely to vote, under no circumstances?”, %

Considering the negative closed rating, the lag behind the leaders seems less significant: M. Chigir lacks only 8.7%, V. Goncharik – 8.8%, S. Domash – 9.8%. These are not bad results, especially considering the fact that state-run mass media, Belarusian TV in particular, are regularly praising A. Lukashenko and are constantly trying to “wipe out” his rivals.

Information about the number of those who declined to give a definite answer to this question seems rather interesting. One could suppose that those contenders, who are well known to voters, had minimum of undetermined answers. And visa versa. That’s why with proper “campaigning” some contenders could gain additional votes. S. Domash and V. Goncharik have the largest reserves in this respect. Z. Poznyak and A. Lukashenko – the smallest.

If we assume that all those undetermined would support corresponding candidate, then A. Lukashenko could account for 63.3% of votes, M. Chigir – 54.9%, V. Goncharik – 54.3%, S. Domash – 53.8%. Clearly, this is a utopian case, and for example, A. Lukashenko could get only a tiny part of these votes, because he is well known and voters could have chosen him right away. However, with an active campaigning his competitors could count on a significant rise, because today the electorate has much less information about them.

An interesting conclusion could be drawn from answers on pairs of possible candidates (see Table 9). If we apply the approach described above, under the most favorable conditions, when A. Lukashenko’s major competitors would have gained all undetermined votes, M. Chigir could have beat him by 4.2%. V. Goncharik and S. Domash would have lagged behind by 1%.

Table 9. Rating of “five” democratic candidates on the question: “If you were to elect the president today from the following two politicians, whom would you vote for?”

Pair of candidates Variant of answer


A. Lukashenko – M. Chigir For A. Lukashenko


For M. Chigir


Against both


Would not participate in the election




A. Lukashenko – V. Goncharik For A. Lukashenko


For V. Goncharik


Against both


Would not participate in the election




A. Lukashenko – S. Domash For A. Lukashenko


For S. Domash


Against both


Would not participate in the election




A. Lukashenko – P. Kozlovsky For A. Lukashenko


For P. Kozlovsky


Against both


Would not participate in the election




A. Lukashenko – S. Kalyakin* For A. Lukashenko


For S. Kalyakin


Against both


Would not participate in the election




* Data on pair “A. Lukashenko – S. Kalyakin” from the October survey

Table 10 provides some information on what people think the future president should be. In particular, they confirm the previous conclusion that more than half of voters does not want A. Lukashenko to be the president again. So, more than 80% want the future president to be a teamworker and consider opinions of other people, three fourths believe that he/her should support friendly relations with all countries, not only Russia or only Europe, almost 50% want him/her to be supporter of sweeping changes to the present course. Obviously, the first president lacks these features.

Table  10. Distribution of answers to the question: “What, do you think, the future president of Belarus should be?”

Variant of answer


Able to work in team, consider opinions of other people
Taking decisions on his own
Does not matter


Advocate of friendly relations with all countries
Advocate of friendship either with Europe, or with Russia
Does not matter


Experienced politician
Respected professional, but not politician
Does not matter


Supporter of sweeping changes to the current course
Supporter of continuation of the current course
Does not matter


Military (including retired military)
Does not matter


Real sector professional
Professional in the sphere of education, science, culture
Does not matter


Connected with Russia’s leadership
Having no ties with Russia’s leadership
Does not matter


Fluent Belarusian is a must
Fluent Belarusian is optional
Does not matter


Connected with ruling nomenclature
Having no ties with ruling nomenclature
Does not matter


Opposition representative
Independent candidate
Does not matter


As Table 11 shows, only 28.8% of respondents believe that the upcoming election would be free and fair. Almost the same number of voters doubts it. From last fall these doubts of voters have deepened. Perhaps it resulted from a blunt pressure on voters during the parliamentary election.

Table 11. Distribution of answers to the question: “Will the 2001 presidential election in Belarus be free and fair?”, %

But even regardless of big doubts of fairness of the upcoming presidential election, the overwhelming majority is going to take part in it (see Table 1).

Thus, the analysis reveals that A. Lukashenko’s electorate is stable enough. And though the total number of his voters decreases, it is due to demographic and social-economic reasons, rather than an active campaigning of other contenders and their teams. In this respect we see a significant fall in activities of most of political organizations, which, probably, links to their leaders non-participation in the presidential race. Over several weeks left before the election contenders and structures that support them should better focus mainly on direct work with electorate, rather than coordinating their programs and actions. Democrats’ victory could be secured by maximum turnout of voters, especially young voters.