Staunton, August 19 – A poll conducted by the Center for the Problems of Rural Youth at the request of the Kremlin finds that the ruling United Russia Party is attracting less support for its candidates to local and regional parliaments than it is for its Duma candidates, a pattern seldom captured by other surveys.
Vasily Galaktinov, the Center’s head, says that “when you look at the composition of city dumas or small rural assemblies, then the percent of those voting for one or another party is different from the percent of votes for the same parties at the oblast level” or above (znak.com/2021-08-18/alternativnye_reytingi).
The higher the level of the assembly, he continues, the only party that sees its percentage of support increase is United Russia. On the one hand, that means the ruling party has less support relative to the others at the local level and more at the upper. And on the other, it means that the other parties are doing better at least relatively at the lower level.
It may also mean that people with strong local connections do better in local voting than those with attachments only to the ruling party and that the latter despite its control at the oblast or even more at the Duma level operates without the depth of local support that other parties have even if they can’t as yet build on that in the assemblies of oblasts or the Duma.
And there is another possible consequence as well, although it is not one Galaktinov notes. This pattern means that where parties other than United Russia are stronger, they may increase their strength over time, a trend that could lead to some regions being dominated by other parties and reduce the strength of United Russia even at the all-Russia level.