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Fewer Russians Expect a Replacement for Putin Before 2018.

President Vladimir Putin.

Almost half of Russians expect a new leader capable of replacing President Vladimir Putin to appear by the 2018 presidential election, a poll conducted by the Levada Center found.

This group, 45 percent of respondents, has diminished slightly from 49 percent in the Levada Center's 2012 survey.

Twenty-six percent of this year's respondents thought it unlikely that a replacement for Putin would appear in 5 years. The remaining 29 percent had difficulty answering.

One-third of those polled said they wanted to see Putin remain in his post after 2018, while 45 percent said they did not, a 5 percentage point increase from 2012.

When asked what model for transferring political power they were most likely to support, 62 percent said that regular replacement of the country's leaders via national democratic elections was the best route.

About one in six, or 16 percent, said that they would be satisfied if those in power appointed their own successors and then transferred power to them after some time.

While Putin's numbers remained roughly the same, potential voters appear to have soured on his 2008 presidential successor, current Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Sixty-three percent of poll respondents said that they would not want him to be become president after 2018, up from 50 percent last year.

According to the poll, if elections were held this week Putin would receive 41 percent of the vote as compared to Medvedev's 5 percent. Thirty-one percent of respondents would vote for another candidate, 11 percent would not vote and 11 percent found the question difficult to answer.

The survey was conducted at the end of October among 1,603 respondents in 45 regions of Russia and carried a 3.4 percent margin of error.

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