Euronews journalist Marina Ostrovskaya looks ahead to Russia’s upcoming general election: “On Sunday Russia goes to the polls to elect a new parliament. Could the result change the political landscape and alter the balance of power in Russia?Joining us is Valery Fedorov the director of the Russian public opinion research centre.
According to the results of the latest opinion polls you said that the ruling United Russia would win the election. While at the same time the numbers show its popularity is on the wane. What are the reasons for this phenomenon?”
Valery Fedorov Director of the Russian Public Opinion Research Centre:“During the last three months the support for United Russia fell from 45 to 39 percent. It was a steady trend not a free fall. Our latest survey we finished last weekend shows the fall has stopped and today support is around 41.5 percent. And now the destiny of the election is clear. United Russia has mobilised all its resources, and called for presidential support. So we can offer a clear forecast, even if the party falls below the previous 49 percent, this time it will get 43 to 45 percent or even 47 percent.
Marina Ostrovskaya:“Which party will pick up the votes of those disaffected with the current leadership.”
Valery Fedorov:’‘We are seeing a rise in support for the Liberal-Democratic party of Russia,
Zhirinovsky’s party, that’s the main trend. Last time it just made the threshold to enter the Duma. This time it looks set to become the second biggest player in the new parliament with 11 percent. The Communists are performing badly
and are likely to lose their position as the second biggest party. Another opposition party A Just Russia picked up 13 percent last time, they are down on that and will receive six or seven percent.”
Marina Ostrovskaya:“And what about the smaller parties, those outside the Duma, Yabloko, Parnas, the Party of Russian Pensioners for Justice, do they have any chance?”
Valery Fedorov:“In the case of Yabloko we are looking at three percent. This will be a major breakthrough for the party because the three percent will give the party the right to state funding. That will help them campaign for the next election, the presidential election in 2108.
The Party of Russian Pensioners for Justice is a strange entity they have no real leader, but have a good name and excellent slogans. The problem for funding Russian pensions is very real along with the problems of social justice, they are fundamental problems. I expect maybe three to four percent.Rodina (motherland) has a slight chance perhaps two or three percent, but PARNAS won’t pass one percent.”
Marina Ostrovskaya:“Why do you think the election was brought forward from December to September? Will it impact on turnout?’‘
Valery Fedorov:“We predict a fall in turnout and we see a lot of reasons for this. One being a change in the central commissions electoral administration, which has a strict attitude toward electoral fraud, and election manipulation. Human rights activist Ella Pamfilova is the chief and the commission is cracking down on fraud. The season plays a part and voters don’t now have a lot of time to consider the issues. The active phase of the campaign this time is around two to three weeks, last time it was longer around six to eight weeks.’‘