The next State Duma could be made of three political parties instead of four, with smaller opposition parties winning no seats at all, a new report by the Russian Association of Public Relations (RASO) announced Wednesday.
The ruling United Russia party and larger, systemic, opposition parties, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) and Communist Party of Russia (KPRF), were almost guaranteed to win seats, research by RASO's Political Technologies Committee found.
Only half of the 60 political experts interviewed by the committee would guarantee that smaller, center-left opposition party A Just Russia would win seats, and many claimed that other smaller parties, such as liberal opposition party Yabloko, would not win any seats at all.
The report stated that A Just Russia was hampered by a small electoral base, “fuzzy ideology” and their lack of prominent leaders. RASO also noted that while A Just Russia had similarly low predictions during the last election cycle, the party ultimately received 64 seats in the State Duma.
A United Russia, LDPR, KPRF and A Just Russia are the only parties represented in the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament. Elections will be held on September 18 and are to feature a new, dual voting system: 225 seats will be chosen in single-member constituencies, while the other half will be elected through proportional representation from party lists. A recently published poll from the Levada Center revealed that more than a third of Russians do not believe that the elections will be free and fair.