Pre-Election Polls Confirm Russian Election Results
Western observers reported Monday that the results of Russia’s parliamentary elections were seriously distorted by ballot stuffing and a lack of transparency, which suggests that the ruling United Russia party did even worse than the official count showed.
The election leading and currently governing United Russia Party gets accused of manipulating the votes in its favor. These allegations seem to be based on some dubious youtube videos, anecdotal stories and a small demonstration by some opposition members in Moscow.
There is always a good test when such allegations come up. Do the results of the election fit with the prediction of independent pollsters issued before the election?
Before Sunday’s vote the Associated Press wrote:
A poll released Friday predicts that Vladimir Putin’s party will receive 53 percent of the vote in Russia’s parliamentary election, now a little over a week away.While still a majority, this would be a significant drop for United Russia and deprive it of the two-thirds majority that has allowed it to amend the constitution without seeking the support of the three other parties in parliament.
Russia TV reported:
The All-Russian Public Opinion Centre polls predicts United Russia is set to get between 55-58% of votes, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation 16-19%, the Liberal Democratic Party 11-14% and Fair Russia 6.5-9.5%
Two polls published ahead of the elections showed United Russia is expected to keep its current majority but win no more than 262 seats in the 450-member Duma.
Now let’s look at the election results:
According to preliminary results released by the Central Elections Commission on Tuesday, the United Russia Party got almost 50 percent of the vote which translated into 238 of 450 seats in the Duma. The Communist Party came second with about 20 percent of the votes and a total of 92 parliamentary seats. A Just Russia Party is in the third place with more than 13 percent and 64 seats. The Liberal Democratic Party got 56 seats, while three parties – Yabloko, Right Cause and Patriots of Russia – failed to make it to the Duma.
United Russia’s share of the vote was slightly worse than all the independent polls predicted. If the party or the government it leads really manipulated the election, why would that be the case?
Russia is a big country. It is likely that there were some irregularities in this or that polling station. But given the total result it is not plausible that such were organized or in favor of United Russia.
Stoking up rumors and creating unrest in Moscow is still a wet dream for “western” cold-war warriors, neocons and their “liberal” allies in Russia. They wish back the days of Yelzin when they robbed Russia blind. But as the election showed those times are over and Russians will no longer fall for their false promises.