ELECTIONS: A TWO-PARTY DUMA?

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United Russia is draining support from other parties

The Levada Center polling agency has released the results of a poll done after President Vladimir Putin announced his intention to head the United Russia party’s candidate list. The results indicate that the next Duma might have only two parties: United Russia and the Communists.


The Levada Center polling agency has released the results of a poll done after President Vladimir Putin announced his intention to head the United Russia party’s candidate list.

When asked how they are likely to vote on December 2, 68% of respondents who intend to vote and have already made their decision named United Russia (compared to 55% in September). Support for the Communist Party (CPRF) dropped from 18% to 15% between September and October. The Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) and Just Russia appear to be in trouble, scoring only 6% (compared to 11% in September) and 5% (7% in September) respectively. None of the other ten parties scored over 1%.

Does this mean that the Duma will have only two factions – United Russia and the CPRF?

Political analyst Alexander Kynev says: “Opinion polls during election campaigns are almost always wrong. For example, not a single poll predicted the LDPR’s success in 1993, Motherland’s success in 2003, or the Union of Right Forces (SPS) success in the spring 2007 regional elections. People perceive pollsters as state employees and conceal any protest-voting inclinations they may have.”

According to Kynev, the Kremlin doesn’t want a two-party parliament either: “My prediction is that three or four parties will cross the 7% threshold. United Russia and the CPRF may be joined by Just Russia and some other party – either the SPS or the LDPR.”

(The Levada Center poll was done between October 5 and October 10, 2007; individuals forming a representative sample of Russia’s adult population were interviewed in their homes. There were 1,600 respondents in 128 locations across 46 regions. The margin of statistical error in the results is no greater than 3%.)

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