Sociologists comment on the fall of the rating of all representatives of the powers-that-be.

Level of trust in President Dmitry Medvedev fell from 55% to 50% last week (it had been lower than that only in July or before the war in South Ossetia). Level of distrust meanwhile increased by 4% and reached 17% or an all-time high. Public Opinion Foundation sociologists conducted the opinion poll in 44 Russian regions where they approached 2,000 respondents on February 14 and 15.

Only 51% respondents admitted willingness to vote United Russia, the lowest figure since 2007. Unfortunately for the opposition, it did not have any effect on its own rating. Fluctuations of the ratings of the CPRF, LDPR, and Fair Russia remained within the statistical error (3%). Correspondingly 9%, 8%, and 4% respondents said they would vote these political parties.

Public Opinion Foundation President Alexander Oslon refused to call it a trend yet but… “There is no more stability in the country. There will be no more stability in the ratings of political parties and leaders as well,” he said.

The opposition said mustering the discontent for rallies was easier now. Sergei Seregin of the CPRF said 2,000 had attended the rally in Yekaterinburg against higher tariffs on January 31 and 3,000 on February 21. The CPRF functionary said actions of the regional authorities in the crisis reminded the population of the notorious social benefits to money conversion campaign in 2006.

Politicians and activists campaigning for their respective parties in the regions where elections would take place on March 1 comment on the changes in society’s mood too. Oleg Pakholkov of Fair Russia in the Volgograd region said the population was considerably more sympathetic now with critics of the ruling party. “People are confused. Their trust in the ruling party, Putin, and Medvedev is still considerable but no longer unconditional,” Pakholkov said.

“Judging by the reports we are getting from the regions where elections are about to take place, United Russia’s rating remains stable,” Andrei Vorobiov of the United Russia Executive Committee said.

Arkhangelsk sociologists meanwhile expect United Russia to perform worse on March 1 than it did in December 2007 when the federal Duma was elected. “No, it’s not a fall of the rating or anything like that,” Center for Sociopolitical Studies Stiga Director General Vadim Treskin said. “It’s a result of mistakes made during the campaign. People retain their trust in the ruling party because they do not think that the opposition will do any better.”