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Russia's Regional Elections: Liveblog

The upstart candidacy of Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny has shaken up the first Moscow mayoral election in a decade. Although Kremlin-backed incumbent Sergei Sobyanin was widely expected to win easily, Navalny supporters hoped he could get enough support to force a runoff. Throughout Russia, thirty-three provinces were voting on September 8 to elect eight governors, 16 regional assemblies, and the mayors of 11 regional capitals.

A combo photo of Moscow mayoral candidates Aleksei Navalny (left) and incumbent Sergei Sobyanin
22:28 8.9.2013
Making a statement at his headquarters, Navalny says he is convinced falsification is happening now. Demands data from the Central Election Commission.

22:23 8.9.2013
Opposition candidate Roizman now leading by 2 percentage points in Yekaterinburg, but only 5,000 votes separate him from his opponent, Yakov Silin.
21:43 8.9.2013
Refocusing quickly on regional elections - although exit polls show opposition candidate Roizman with a 10 percent edge in Yekaterinburg, the latest reported official count has him down by two percent. Mikhail Prokhorov, the billionaire leader of Civic Platform, says Roizman win by a margin of 7 percentage points.
21:29 8.9.2013
According to Interfax, a source in the Sobyanin campaign said Navalny got higher than expected results because of low turnout.

"The turnout in these elections was very low, and the ardent supporters of Navalny turned out," he said. Navalny led a very active campaign, which allowed him to not only mobilize the protest vote, but also supporters of the Communist parties and others. Meanwhile, the mayor made the decision not to actively participate in the political campaign and instead focused on the affairs of the city.
21:10 8.9.2013
The Tweet below sums up the general feeling about Navalny's performance today. Rule of thumb throughout the day was that low turnout was bad for Navalny. Instead, it appears that city authorities failed to use their administrative resources to get "their" people to the polls. Sobyanin still wins -- perhaps squeaks by without a runoff--but surely not the result he was hoping for.

20:31 8.9.2013
Another state-connected pollster, the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center, gives Navalny 32% to Sobyanin's 53%. Reports that Sobyanin's team internal exit polls had him below 50%. Runoff or not, Navalny has beaten expectations. The most recent polling, from the independent Levada Center, had him at 18%.
20:20 8.9.2013
Here's video of Navalny announcing his numbers right after 8 PM MSK (12 PM EST).

20:07 8.9.2013
Here it goes. Navalny's team says he got 36% and Sobyanin 46%, forcing a runoff. Other exit polls, however say 56% for Sobyanin and 29% for Navalny.

20:00 8.9.2013
Polls have closed in Moscow.
19:53 8.9.2013

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