Putinania

Russian Politics, & Personalities

United Russia’s Prospects for the 2011 Duma Election

with 4 comments

Even Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s envoy to NATO apologized for the poor timing of the announcement.  While Rogozin’s Twitter comment may have been a joke, Dmitry Medvedev’s announcement yesterday was not.  Looking nervously at the camera, the President of Russia stated that he was instructing the military to ramp up, and prepare for a missile defense shield in Europe.  Speaking slowly and clearly, Medvedev also threatened to place Iskanders in Kaliningrad.

This was the second time in as many days that Medvedev had come out with a big defense announcement.  On Monday, at a meeting in Vladikavkaz, the President had claimed that the 2008 war in Georgia had been carried out in an attempt to prevent Georgian ascension to NATO.  While the threats and posturing are nothing new, the timing did seem a bit suspicious.  The elections for the State Duma are in 10 days, and the Russian President is leading the party lists for United Russia, the majority party.

For the leading party, United Russia, the numbers do not look promising.  In the last few weeks there have been several leaks about how badly United Russia is doing in the polls. Levada Center, the leading polling organization in Russia, revealed the results of its most recent poll.  Levada takes this poll on a monthly basis, and always asks the same question: “If the election for the Russian State Duma was held next Sunday, would you vote in them, and which party would you vote for?”

Levada’s most recent results revealed that United Russia’s numbers are falling, with just 51% of their respondents answering that they would vote for United Russia.  In the same poll, the Communists would get 20% of the vote.  Sergei Mironov’s party would get only 7%, and LDPR (Zhirinovsky’s party) would receive 14%.

Compare this to the other polling organizations in Russia, VTsIOM, and FOM.  VTsIOM’s most recent poll only gives United Russia 40%, and FOM gives United Russia 39%.  Both organizations give the Communists 13%.

To give you an idea of how bad this is, United Russia currently holds 64.3% of the seats in the State Duma.  The authorities are patently worried.  In early November the President’s office leaked their own internal poll numbers.  These numbers were closer to VTsIOM’s numbers.  The leak appeared to be deliberate.  A portrayal of weakness from people who do not normally like to appear weak.

So the numbers are bad, and different regions have sought to make up those numbers using “administrative resources”.  This has, so far, included pressuring the clergy to urge their congregants to vote for United Russia, publishing posters with the same background as the Election Commission’s posters, and hanging up posters in public schools.

Stories have also leaked that governors’ jobs are on the line, if they fail to produce a certain result. In Novgorod, recent poll numbers placed United Russia at 40%, but fail to take into account regions like Chechnya where Ramzan Kadyrov has promised to deliver “110% of the vote”.  While most people have treated Kadyrov’s oath as a joke, in the 2007 election, Chechnya did deliver over 90% of the vote to United Russia.

Utilizing so-called “administrative resources”, and with help from Governors anxious to keep their jobs, United Russia could still potentially receive 60% of the seats in the next parliamentary session.  While this is not a Constitutional majority, it would enable the ruling party, and Vladimir Putin to claim a mandate.  A necessity if they intend to follow through on their “modernization” platform.  And, perhaps more importantly, a necessity for Putin to shore up support for the Presidential elections scheduled in March.

Advertisements

Written by Nina Jobe

November 24, 2011 at 10:56 AM

4 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. […] Putinania, who links Medvedev’s recent statements to United Russia’s falling poll numbers […]

  2. […] Putinania, who links Medvedev’s recent statements to United Russia’s falling poll numbers […]

  3. […] include A Good Treaty's take on the efficiency of the RuNet activism and Putinania's analysis of the United Russia’s prospects for the Dec. 4 Duma election. Tweet Andy of Siberian […]

  4. I didn’t get from Medvedev’s speech that the war against Georgia had been fought for the purpose of preventing Georgian acsension to NATO. Given that Saakashvili was the one who initiated the attack, it would be quite an accomplishment for Medvedev if he was planning all along for Saakashvili to do something stupid so Russia could counterattack, thus achieving its goal. Besides, Saakashvili’s attack was enough to keep Georgia out of NATO – Abkhazia and South Ossetia both unilaterally declared their independence, exactly as Georgia did. While the U.N. managed to strongarm almost everyone into not recognizing it, the process is no different than that whereby Georgia achieved its own independence. Russia could have pointed that out, and announced its ultimatum; withdraw, or be destroyed. NATO would have prevailed upon Saakashvili to back down, and he would have been left with an unresolved territorial dispute, which would have meant no NATO membership.

    marknesop

    November 30, 2011 at 3:37 PM


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: