Russia poll shows big drop in pro-Putin party

Russia’s main pro-Kremlin party suffered a drop in support in an opinion poll issued on Wednesday, but still seemed set to dominate a December parliamentary election widely seen as a referendum on the rule of President Vladimir Putin.United Russia has relied on the president’s high personal standing for its campaign, whose motto is “Putin’s Plan — Victory for Russia”.

Putin will head the list of candidates for United Russia and on Tuesday said he expected the election to give him a “moral right” to influence Russian politics after he steps down from his Kremlin post next year.

A VTsIOM poll shows United Russia support at 57 percent of those who intend to vote, down 9 percentage points on the last poll a week ago.

“Our poll shows that the majority of voters, more than half, are supporting United Russia and that if the voting took place now, only three parties would pass the threshold,” said Olga Komentyuk, spokeswoman for the pollsters.

Under changes to Russia’s electoral laws, only parties which gain more than seven percent support win seats in parliament. The opinion poll showed the Communist Party at 8 percent and the nationalist LDPR at 7 percent, both up two points on last week.

The leftwing pro-Kremlin party, Fair Russia also saw its support rise, to 5 from 3 percent, while the more Kremlin critical liberal parties, SPS and Yabloko both muster below 2 percent support.

The latest figures from VTsIOM strip out those who say they won’t vote, though the turnout appears set to rise to 76 percent, from 68 percent a month ago.

The poll of 1,600 voters, carried out on November 10-11, carries a 3.4 percent margin of error.

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