Putins United Russia partys rating drops to lowest point : Poll
Moscow | Thursday, Feb 3 2011 IST
The popularity rating of pro-Kremlin ruling United Russia party headed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin dropped in January to its lowest point in more than a year, an opinion poll conducted by independent polling centre Levada said.
If an election were held next Sunday, 35 per cent of all Russians would vote for the party, 10 percentage points fewer than in December 2010, it said. Nearly a third of respondents said they did not know who they would vote for if anyone at all.
The poll was carried out among 1,600 adults across 130 towns on January 21 to 24 and has a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points. In a separate category that includes only those who said they would definitely vote, 57 per cent said they would do so for United Russia, which would still hand the party a solid victory in an election.
The Russian Communist Party would come in second if an election were held on Sunday, collecting 20 per cent of the vote, the poll said.
The elections of the State Duma, the lower house of Russian parliament, are scheduled for December this year. The presidential vote is due to be held in March 2012.
Despite the drop, United Russia said it was confident.
"For us, the best indicator of the party's rating is the support of the people," party spokesman Sergei Neverov said in a statement, adding that 57 per cent was still "a high figure." Levada Center said United Russia's fall in popularity was linked with annual price hikes that occur usually after New Year's.
Approval by Russians of Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev also dropped to their lowest in January, though both remain around 70 per cent each, a Levada poll showed last month.
-- (UNI) -- 03DF4.xml
Watch News Videos