Voter support for acting Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin slid 11 percentage points from the first to the second week of August, according to the latest poll by market research firm Synovate Comcon, signaling tightening in a race in which Sobyanin has been the prohibitive favorite from the outset.
The poll also showed street-protest leader Alexei Navalny gaining about 5 points and each of the other candidates holding steady in their totals or gaining ground ahead of the Sept. 8 election.
The survey conducted Aug. 8-14 found that Sobyanin’s support fell from 74.6 percent to 63.5 percent among Muscovites who have already decided who they will vote for, while Navalny’s expected percentage rose to 19.9 percent.
Communist Ivan Melnikov was the third most popular candidate in the poll, with his support rising more than two points to 7.8 percent. Nikolai Levichev of A Just Russia and Mikhail Degtyaryov of the Liberal Democratic Party also saw small increases, each seeing support of 2.3 percent. The projected vote share for Sergei Mitrokhin of the liberal Yabloko party remained at 4.2 percent.
Sobyanin and Navalny also placed first and second, respectively, in survey results published Wednesday by state pollster VTsIOM, while Navalny was first among candidates who Muscovites said they had ruled out voting for.
Sixty percent of voters said they had ruled out the possibility of choosing Navalny at the polls, according to the VTsIOM poll, while 25 percent said they would consider supporting him. By comparison, 72 percent of voters said they would consider supporting Sobyanin.
VTsIOM predicted that Sobyanin would win in the first round of voting with 67.4 percent, Navalny would come in second with 13 percent and the remaining four candidates would each earn 6.5 percent or less.