Three front-runners are Zelensky (center), Poroshenko (right) and Tymoshenko (left) / Image by UNIAN

Findings of the National Exit Poll 2019 project as of 18:00 Kyiv time on March 31 show that 30.4% of Ukrainians have voted for presidential candidate, showman Volodymyr Zelensky; 17.8% supported incumbent President Petro Poroshenko; and 14.2% cast their votes for leader of the Batkivshchyna Party Yulia Tymoshenko.

The poll was conducted by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation, Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS), and the Kyiv-based Razumkov Center, according to an UNIAN correspondent.

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According to the findings of the exit poll, 9.8% voted for co-chairman of the Opposition Platform – For Life Party Yuriy Boyko, 7.1% voted for leader of the Civil Position Party Anatoliy Hrytsenko, 6.4% voted for self-nominated Ihor Smeshko, 4.8% for leader of the Radical Party Oleh Liashko, 4% for candidate from the Opposition Bloc – the Party of Peace and Development Oleksandr Vilkul, and 1.8% for candidate from the Svoboda Party Ruslan Koshulynsky.

Other candidates have less than 2% of votes, according to the exit poll.

An updated exit poll report by closing of polling stations at 20:00 Kyiv time on March 31 will be released at 23:00.

The National Exit Poll was sponsored by the Enhance Non-Governmental Actors and Grassroots Engagement "ENGAGE" activity, funded by U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and implemented by Pact in Ukraine, the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine, the International Renaissance Foundation, the Embassy of Canada in Ukraine.

The field stage of the National Exit Poll 2019 project was handled by two Ukrainian sociological companies – Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) and the Razumkov Center.

The general population of the exit poll are voters who voted at polling stations throughout Ukraine, except for special polling stations for the military, in prisons and hospitals, embassies and in Russia-occupied areas.

The sample was developed to be representative for Ukraine in general and for its four geographical areas (the west, the center, the east, and the south).

The sample is two-staged. At the first stage, the number of polling stations was chosen in each region to the percentage of voters in the given region. The polling stations were randomly selected.

At the second stage, the selection of voters at the exit of polling stations was made based on a certain selection step. The findings were submitted to the central office of sociological companies several times during the day.

The results of the survey are presented on a national scale and in the context of four areas: the West: Zakarpattia, Volyn, Rivne, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ternopil, Chernivtsi and Khmelnytsky regions; the Center: Zhytomyr, Vinnytsia, Kirovohrad, Cherkasy, Poltava, Sumy, Chernihiv, Kyiv regions and the city of Kyiv; the South: Odesa, Mykolaiv, Kherson, Zaporizhia and Dnipropetrovsk regions; and the East: Kharkiv region, Donetsk and Luhansk regions (districts controlled by the Ukrainian government).

The number of the polling stations covered is 400 (200 for each sociological company). The sample size is about 17,000 respondents (depending on a voter turnout).

Two or three interviewers worked at each polling station; in total, there were 1,000 specially trained interviewers. The interviewers wore special National Exit Poll badges.

The statistical margin of error, taking the design effect into account, does not exceed 1.3%, but there are still errors that depend on various factors.

Based on the experience of previous exit polls conducted using the same methodology, the sampling error will not exceed 2.5% for front-runners and will be within 0.5-1% for other candidates.