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State Pollster Predicts Five Parties To Enter Duma, Headed By United Russia

An election campaign banner showing candidates from United Russia is seen in Murmansk.
An election campaign banner showing candidates from United Russia is seen in Murmansk.

State polling agency VTsIOM has published survey results suggesting the ruling United Russia party would receive 35.3 percent of the ballots cast by voters who say they are likely to go to the polls in the September 17-19 State Duma elections.

According to the poll, which was posted on Facebook by VTsIOM Director Valery Fyodorov, 52 percent of voters plan to participate in the elections, while another 16 percent said they "likely" would vote and 13 percent said they have not yet decided.

Polling has been severely limited during the current election campaign, in part because the respected, independent polling outfit Levada Center has been labeled a "foreign agent" organization. The numbers from VTsIOM could not be verified, and their release may serve as a way to create expectations of election results that will roughly correspond to the poll results.

The VTsIOM results track closely with information recently revealed in leaked audio of an official in the Moscow suburb of Korolyov purportedly coaching election workers on how to falsify the vote. The official said "we are interested in seeing a certain figure and a certain party -- 42 to 45 percent on the party-list voting," an apparent reference to the expected result for United Russia.

The VTsIOM poll found 20.5 percent of likely voters will cast ballots for the Communist Party, while 8.5 percent prefer the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), and 6.9 percent will vote for the A Just Russia party. The New People party -- which was created in 2020 and has been accused of being a Kremlin-sponsored project aimed at attracting supporters of imprisoned opposition leader Aleksei Navalny -- was polling 4.6 percent.

Based on the polling, VTsIOM predicted that all five parties would enter the Duma, surpassing the 5 percent threshold. United Russia would poll 42 percent, followed by the Communists at 19 percent, the LDPR with 11 percent, A Just Russia with 8 percent, and New People with 5 percent.

The pollster predicted the nine remaining parties would collectively pick up 19 percent of the vote and receive no representation.

VTsIOM is an acronym for the All-Russia Center for the Study of Public Opinion.