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Less Than Half of Russians Believe Duma Elections Fair — Poll

Moskva News Agency

Just 46 percent of Russians believe that last month’s State Duma elections were carried out fairly, a survey by independent pollster the Levada Center revealed Monday.

Some 31 percent of respondents said they were certain that the vote had been unfair, while 22 percent refused to answer, the Interfax news agency reported.

Just under half of respondents believed that vote rigging had taken place during the count, with 30 percent saying that “inconsequential vote rigging” had taken place. Another 13 percent believed in “fairly significant” violations, which “probably had no effect on the result.” Six percent of respondents believed there had been serious violations during the vote count, Interfax reported.

Most respondents78 percent — said that they had not encountered any kind of pressure or intimidation in the run-up to the Sep. 18 vote. Five percent said that they had been pressured by their employer to vote for a certain party, four percent by their local administration or friends, and two percent by their relatives.

The ruling United Russia party secured a landslide victory during last month's elections, which saw them gain a constitutional super-majority of 76 percent in Russia's lower house of parliament, the State Duma.

Electoral fraud, including ballot stuffing, was reported at some polling stations, and independent monitors still reported that the vote was “far from free and fair.”

Russia’s Election Commission reported the turnout as a historically low 48 percent, whilst some statistical analyses have claimed the real turnout was just 37 percent.

Some 1600 people took part in the Levada Center poll from Sep. 23-26 in 48 Russian regions, Interfax reported. 

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