The Anti-Putin Electorate – A Sociological Portrait

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, December 15, 2017)

The Romir polling agency at the request of the Petersburg Politics Foundation has conducted an in-depth poll of those Russians, approximately 25 percent of the total, who say that they will not vote for Vladimir Putin and who alternative candidates are competing among for support.

On the Polit.ru portal today, journalist Simon Zhavoronkov provides a summary of the Romir findings (polit.ru/article/2017/12/15/romir/). They include the following points:

  • A fifth of the opposition voters identify as communists, most of whom are from the older generation.
  • Just under a fifth (21 percent) call themselves patriots, most of whom are from smaller cities and from the 35 to 44 age group.
  • Another fifth call themselves democrats, almost a third of whom are between 18 and 34, with one in every eight of these identifying as a liberal.
  • From one to three percent of the anti-Putin electorate identify as state-thinking people, conservatives, socialists, nationalists or anarchists.
  • 14 percent identify as apolitical.
  • Seven percent had difficulty saying why they oppose Putin.

Eighty-six percent of these Putin opponents say they get their news from television, and 65 percent say they rely on the Internet, with those mentioning the Internet declining as a share as one moves from younger to older age groups. Forty-two percent read newspapers, and 40 percent listen to radio.

But perhaps the most intriguing finding of the Romir poll is that 90 percent of this “‘alternative electorate'” plans to take part in the election, a far higher share than among Putin supporters. And it found that there is an intense competition among liberal candidates for these voters, with Kseniya Sobchak relying on name recognition and Aleksey Navalny on youth.

[Article also appeared at windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2017/12/the-anti-putin-electorate-sociological.html]