Russia’s top parties likely to keep their seats after 2011 elections

With the electoral campaign season about to kick off, the latest polls suggest December’s Duma vote will change little in parliament.

Around 43 percent of Russians said that they will vote for the United Russia party; in 2007, the figure was 32 percent. Sociologists said the party’s rating has improved by 3 percent in less than a month, thanks to such initiatives as the Popular Front and public primaries.

The Communist Party will be supported by 10 percent of the electorate (in comparison to 7 percent in 2007), while the Liberal Democrats will get around 9 percent of votes (4 percent in 2007). Sociologist state that both parties are trying to stick to old tricks: the Communists are hoping to attract the attention of those who do not support the country’s leading party,, while the Liberal Democrats are leaning on their controversial and eccentric leader, Vladimir Zhirinosky.

The only party who lost a large part of its electorate is the Fair Russia party, which got only 4 percent (in 2007 they were supported by 5 percent). The results are so tiny that the party risks losing the chance of having even one deputy in the Duma – according to Russian law, the party needs at least 5 percent of the vote.

It comes with President Dmitry Medvedev expected to give the official go-ahead to parliamentary electioneering any day. The elections will take place on December 4, when Russians will vote for the sixth time for State Duma deputies. The party’s low ratings are no doubt connected with a range of scandals involving Sergey Mironov, the party’s leader and the former first speaker in the Federation Council.

Polls have also shown that Medvedev’s rating are still high, at around 46 percent, while Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s rating shows the same growth as that of United Russia, 52 percent.

The research, involving 3,000 people, was conducted on August 13-14 in 204 cities in 64 of Russia’s regions.

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