Half of Russians express readiness to vote in 2016 parliamentary poll
Half of Russian voters say they will definitely participate in State Duma elections in September 2016, and 61 percent who have made their choice say they will support the current parliamentary majority United Russia party.
According to the research released by the independent Levada-Center agency on Thursday, 19 percent of responders will definitely participate in the forthcoming Duma elections. Thirty-one percent said that it was very likely.
Twenty-one percent of responders said they were undecided, 12 percent doubt they will make it to the polling stations, and 14 percent said they definitely had no intention of voting.
Levada Center experts noted that the results were very close to opinions registered in August 2011, ahead of the latest parliamentary polls at 60 percent. However, they also said the protest vote could be higher in 2016 due to complex socio-economic conditions.
In the same poll, 41 percent of responders said if the elections took place next weekend they would vote for the centrist conservative United Russia party, currently holding the majority of seats in the Duma. United Russia’s popularity among those who had already decided to vote was higher at 61 percent.
Ten percent of all responders said they would back the Russian Communist Party, seven percent promised to support the nationalist-populist LDPR party, three percent said they would vote for the leftist Fair Russia party and two percent back the pro-business Civil Platform party.
The nationalist Motherland party, liberal Yabloko party and the anti-corruption Party of Progress have so far secured about one percent of votes each.
In June, officials from Russia’s Central Elections Commission suggested that at least 12 political parties will contest the 2016 Duma elections thanks to the more liberal requirements of a newly amended law. According to the new rules, introduced at the beginning of 2014, political parties who want to contend for State Duma seats must meet at least one of the following requirements: got three or more percent of the vote in previous elections; have its representative elected to at least one regional legislature; or present 200,000 signatures from supporters with no more than 7,000 coming from one federal region. Currently there are over 70 political parties in Russia.