A Vote for a Challenger Is a Wish, a Vote for an Incumbent Is a Verdict

author
Dr. Louis Perron
blog post louis

Presidents usually get elected with a mandate to do (or sometimes not to do) a specific thing. And they normally have a limited time window to deliver on it. I always tell clients that a vote for a challenger is a wish. A vote for an incumbent, on the other hand, is a verdict. In Ukraine, for example, voters have been very consistent while going to the polls three times this year. They want a clear break and a fresh political start – hoping for better living conditions and less corruption. After the parliamentary election, it looks like President Zelensky will be in a position to govern without having to make too many political compromises – at least as long as he can hold his own crowd together. He obviously has huge political capital at the moment. So it comes as no surprise that there is even talk of early local elections. Unlike maybe some selected political insiders, voters usually want their leaders to succeed and are willing to give it a bit of time. In that sense, I think that many Ukrainian voters will be in a wait and see attitude for some time. As long as a president is at least seen trying to deliver on his key mandate, his approval ratings usually remain ok. Affaire à suivre.

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