Exit polls in the Ukrainian presidential election show candidate Volodymyr Zelenskiy with a firm lead against incumbent President Petro Poroshenko and opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko according to early polling, according to the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation.
As of 8 p.m., Zelenskiy has received 30.6% of the votes –ahead of 17.8% for Poroshenko and 14.2% for Tymoshenko.
The exit poll results hardly from the 6 p.m. ones where Zelenskiy received 30.4%, Poroshenko –17.8%, and Tymoshenko – 14.2%. Some 17,890 people responded to the 6 p.m. exit poll.
Nearly 40,000 law-enforcement officers provided security at polling stations nationwide.
Polling stations officially closed at around 8:00 p.m.. If no candidates receive over 50% of the votes based on the official results – which most experts say is likely – a second round of the vote will be held on April 21.
Ukraine’s Interior Ministry registered hundreds of cases of election violations with the greatest number allegedly happening in Kyiv, the Donetsk, Kharkiv, and Dnipropetrovsk regions.
The Central Election Commission says no systemic violations were found.
The majority of votes are expected to be counted by April 1, but final results can be announced as late as April 10.