Br23 blog has some unofficial exit poll figures – no idea where they came from – which shows Lukashenko winning 45-47% of the vote, and Milinkevich in second with about 30% of the vote.
I have to say I’m slightly sceptical of them. The results above would force a run off between Lukashenko and Milinkevich, but they are ever so slightly too close to the opposition’s ‘dream result’ for comfort.
It was pretty clear from the beginning that Lukashenko was going to actually win the popular vote (he was genuinely popular among many because of his state subsidies, which appeared to increase wages dramatically in the last couple of years). So, the best Milinkevich’s team could hope for was to force a run-off, and hope that mass protests would turn the election their way (a la Ukraine).
So for this poll to suddenly show Lukashenko failing, by a whisker, to hit the 50% mark, seems awfully convenient.
Anyway, moving on (because I’m running late for work). Protests kind of fizzled out last night, as it was cold and no-one could hear what was going on in October Square. But Milinkevich has called on people to come back at 6pm tonight, and I’m hopeful people will turn up.
In particular, I’m encouraged by the fact that last night’s protests passed off peacefully, and hope that the people of Belarus will be encouraged by that, and feel that they can come onto the streets without real fear.
Additionally, for those who feel that the whole protest is over because last night’s event fizzled out, take a look at Neeka’s Backlog, who puts last nights protests into the context of the Orange Revolution:
It’s upsetting – but my mama has just reminded me that the rally in Kyiv on the night of the vote was nothing special, either. Then Yushchenko asked people to come over to Maidan at 9 am Monday, and most people had nightmares and insomnia, fearing that no one would come, and of course everyone did rush to Maidan first thing in the morning. (I overslept – because I stayed up till 5 am…)
Well, off to work for me now. More later this evening.