Russia's 2016 elections: More of the same?

20-06-2016

On 18 September, 2016 Russians will elect representatives at federal, regional and municipal level, including most importantly to the State Duma (lower house of parliament). President Vladimir Putin remains popular, with over 80% of Russians approving of his presidency. However, the country is undergoing a prolonged economic recession and a growing number of Russians feel it is going in the wrong direction. Support for Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and ruling party United Russia has declined in recent months. Nevertheless, United Russia is likely to hold onto, and even increase its parliamentary majority, given the lack of credible alternatives. Of the tame opposition parties currently represented in the State Duma, polls suggest the far-right Liberal Democrats will do well, overtaking the Communists to become the largest opposition party. Outside the State Duma, opposition to Putin's regime is led by liberal opposition parties Yabloko and PARNAS. Deeply unpopular and disunited, these parties have little chance of breaking through the 5% electoral threshold. To avoid a repeat of the 2011–2012 post-election protests, authorities may try to prevent the blatant vote-rigging which triggered them. Nevertheless, favourable media coverage, United Russia's deep pockets and changes to electoral legislation (for example, the re-introduction of single-member districts) will give the ruling party a strong head-start. Please click here for the full publication in PDF format

On 18 September, 2016 Russians will elect representatives at federal, regional and municipal level, including most importantly to the State Duma (lower house of parliament). President Vladimir Putin remains popular, with over 80% of Russians approving of his presidency. However, the country is undergoing a prolonged economic recession and a growing number of Russians feel it is going in the wrong direction. Support for Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and ruling party United Russia has declined in recent months. Nevertheless, United Russia is likely to hold onto, and even increase its parliamentary majority, given the lack of credible alternatives. Of the tame opposition parties currently represented in the State Duma, polls suggest the far-right Liberal Democrats will do well, overtaking the Communists to become the largest opposition party. Outside the State Duma, opposition to Putin's regime is led by liberal opposition parties Yabloko and PARNAS. Deeply unpopular and disunited, these parties have little chance of breaking through the 5% electoral threshold. To avoid a repeat of the 2011–2012 post-election protests, authorities may try to prevent the blatant vote-rigging which triggered them. Nevertheless, favourable media coverage, United Russia's deep pockets and changes to electoral legislation (for example, the re-introduction of single-member districts) will give the ruling party a strong head-start. Please click here for the full publication in PDF format