Russians divided on national development vector but don’t expect shocks – poll

Map of Russia

(Interfax – MOSCOW. June 19, 2013) Optimism prevails in Russian society, and 76% are more or less happy with their life. Only 8% have not adjusted to contemporary conditions, Levada Center told Interfax on Wednesday, quoting a nation-wide poll of late May.

A quarter of the respondents claimed “their life was stable and there had been no major changes for the past few years”, while 9% said they “had grabbed new opportunities to do better.” Thirty-three percent said they “were busy as a bee and took every job to make a better life for themselves and their families.”

Two-thirds of the respondents (61%) said their material status did not change over the past year, 15% alleged improvements and 21% declared deterioration.

Levada Center polled 1,600 adults in 130 towns and cities in 45 regions. Fifteen percent forecasted their life would improve further next year, and the equal percentage was skeptical. Over a half of the respondents (57%) did not expect any shocks and believed their life would remain stable.

Speaking of general economic forecasts, only 4% predicted recession and 14% expected deterioration, while 70% believed in stability or even an improvement, the sociologists said.

Some 40% of the respondents said national life was basically heading in the right direction, and 40% disagreed.

Also, most of the respondents said they would vote in a hypothetical presidential election of next Sunday. Sixteen percent claimed to be non-voters. President Vladimir Putin enjoys the highest support (32%). Other possible candidates are Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov (supported by 7%), and Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky (3%). All the other candidates would have gained less than 2%. A quarter of the respondents said they did not make up their mind, and 12% said they were mulling over options.

A hypothetical State Duma election would have been won by the ruling party, United Russia, with 35% of the vote. The Communist Party would have ranked second (12%), the Liberal Democratic Party third (6%), and A Just Russia fourth (5%). Other parties are supported by less than 2% of voters. Twenty percent of the respondents are unwilling to vote, Levada Center said.