A comedian has taken the lead in Ukraine’s presidential race, according to the latest polls.

A poll by the Razumkov Center shows comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who played the president in a popular TV series, surging ahead of incumbent President Petro Poroshenko and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

The poll of 6,000 released Thursday had a margin of error of 1.3 percentage points. Another survey also showed Zelenskiy leading.

Earlier polls showed Tymoshenko leading and placed Poroshenko in dead heat with Zelesnkiy ahead of the March 31 presidential vote.

Zelenskiy’s high rating reflects both his popularity as a TV star and the public disenchantment with current leaders. Ukraine has faced economic troubles after Russia’s annexation of Crimea and a separatist insurgency in the east.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko speaks at a meeting with supporters in Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko speaks at a meeting with supporters in Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, Jan. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

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