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Russians Losing Protest Steam As Duma Election Draws Closer, Poll Shows

File Photo of Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box
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Moscow, 28 November: The level of protest potential among Russians has been stable for three weeks already and is trending downwards a week before the (State Duma) election, VTsIOM (All-Russia Centre for the Study of Public Opinion) sociologists say. At present, around a quarter of all Russians (23 per cent) consider mass demonstrations in their city or region against a drop in their standards of living in defence of rights to be quite likely. This is considered unlikely by the majority (68 per cent) of the 1,600 people polled on 19-20 November across 138 settlements in 46 regions, territories and republics (with a statistical discrepancy of no more than 3.4 per cent).

Sociological studies show insignificant fluctuations over the course of November for the dominant share of respondents who consider such rallies unlikely (68 to 70 per cent) and those who believe them to be possible (23 to 25 per cent).

The belief that protests are possible is held chiefly by CPRF (Communist Party of the Russian Federation) supporters (32 per cent), 35 to 44-year-olds (28 per cent) and the residents of medium-sized cities (35 per cent). Such demonstrations are considered unlikely in the view of the supporters of One Russia (United Russia) (73 per cent) and non-parliamentary parties (74 per cent), young people (74 per cent), residents of Moscow and St Petersburg (72 per cent), as well as the dwellers of small cities (74 per cent) and villages (72 per cent).

According to VTsIOM data, in the last week, the share of Russians personally ready to take part in protests has dropped from 27 to 22 per cent. Accordingly, the share of those who see little likelihood of such rallies has grown from 66 to 71 per cent.

Among the potential protesters are first of all supporters of CPRF (34 per cent), LDPR (Liberal Democratic Party of Russia) (31 per cent) and A Just Russia (30 per cent), as well as low-income earners (31 per cent). Those siding with One Russia (77 per cent), Muscovites and Petersburgers (85 per cent) and high-income earners (79 per cent) are not prepared to support such rallies.

The highest level of protest potential among Russians in the current year was registered in March-May, at 31-32 per cent, VTsIOM polls, received by the Interfax news agency on Monday (28 November), show.

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