Russian poll shows prominent opposition activist gaining recognition

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, April 4, 2013) Opposition activist and blogger Aleksey Navalnyy is becoming increasingly known among the Russians, however his rating among the electorate is going down and less countrymen believe him, a sociologist survey has shown.

In April 2011, Navalnyy was practically unknown to his countrymen – 94 per cent of people confirmed this to sociologists, whereas in March this year the share of such people amounted to 64 per cent. Consequently, the number of those who know the prominent blogger involved in opposition and anti-corruption activities went up from 6 to 37 per cent, Levada Centre experts who carried out the nationwide opinion poll have told Interfax.

Meanwhile the number of those who know Navalnyy and are ready to vote for him at the Russian presidential election if he is nominated dropped from 32 per cent in 2011 to 14 per cent in March this year, including 13 per cent of those who said that they will “probably” vote for him. Today, the majority of the respondents just like two years ago (66 per cent) would not vote for Navalnyy, and 21 per cent of the respondents have not decided yet what would they do (11 per cent in 2011).

The poll was carried out on 22-25 March among a representative sample of 1,601 city residents and villagers aged above 18 in 130 settlements in 45 Russian regions.

Asked whether they trust the information about large-scale embezzlement of state funds committed by officials and businessmen which Navalnyy publishes on website, over a half of the respondents (54 per cent) answered in the affirmative, one in five (20 per cent) said they do not trust this information and 28 per cent were unsure of the answer.

According to Levada Centre, the number of those who trusted the information about large-scale embezzlement of state funds by officials was significantly higher two years ago – 68 per cent, and the number of those who were unsure of the answer was smaller – 9 per cent. (Passage omitted)