Opinion poll: should Vladimir Putin be the national leader?

The VTsIOM polling agency reports that 52% of respondents don’t understand what the “national leader” concept means, but 60% support the idea that Russia should have a national leader. The Levada Center reports that 61% of respondents are unaware of the national leader proposals.

In a poll done by the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM), 52% of respondents said they don’t understand what the “national leader” concept means. Of those who did have a definite opinion on that score, 6% said that a national leader is someone who has the people’s confidence; a further 6% said it’s a leader who is respected and authoritative; 5% said that it’s someone capable of uniting the people. When asked to name desirable qualities, 24% of respondents said that the national leader should be honest, impartial, and principled; 13% said he should be intelligent and wise; 13% said he should be strong and steadfast; 8% said he should be fair and just; 7% said he should be a skilled politician; 5% said he should be resolute and decisive; 5% said he should be strong-willed and commanding; 5% said he should be responsible; and 4% said he should genuinely care about the people.

Overall, 60% of respondents support the idea that Russia should have a national leader; 19% do not support it. The poll results indicate that the national leader idea has 48% support in Moscow and St. Petersburg, compared to 59-66% in other cities and rural areas. Communist Party voters and LDPR voters tend to be against the idea of Vladimir Putin retaining his influence after the presidential election; but support is higher among Just Russia voters (58%) and United Russia voters (68%).

Meanwhile, according to the Levada Center polling agency, over half of respondents say that their attitude to Vladimir Putin would remain unchanged if he announced intentions to ignore the Constitution’s two-term limit and seek a third term in the presidential election of 2008. Moreover, 61% of respondents said they hadn’t heard anything about plans to proclaim Putin the national leader; only 39% of respondents were aware of this. According to the Levada Center, 44% of respondents wouldn’t object to Putin being proclaimed the national leader: 17% of them approve of this unconditionally; 15% say they would approve only if Putin is recognized as the national leader by means of a referendum; 12% say they would be glad to see Putin as the national leader only if the Constitution is amended to that effect, with a clear definition of his powers. And 30% of respondents disapprove of the national leader plans.