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Tycoon tops Ukrainian election poll

AP REPORTERS

Billionaire chocolate tycoon Petro Poroshenko has won Ukraine's presidential election outright in the first round, according to an exit poll.

The poll for Sunday's election, conducted by three respected Ukrainian survey agencies, found the tycoon won 55.9% of the vote.

In a distant second was former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko with 12.9%. The poll, which surveyed 17,000 voters at 400 precincts, claimed a margin of error of two percentage points, indicating Poroshenko clearly passed the 50% mark needed to win without a run-off.

The ballot took place despite weeks of fighting in the sprawling eastern regions that form Ukraine's industrial heartland, where pro-Russia separatist have seized government buildings and battled government troops.

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