bne:Chart – Putin re-election a foregone conclusion for most Russians

By bne IntelliNews January 16, 2015

Henry Kirby in London -

 

Despite being three years away, the next Russian presidential election will see Vladimir Putin re-elected in a landslide, according to a study by the independent Levada Center.

The results of the poll, published on January 15, found that if a general election were to take place this weekend, Putin would eclipse all other potential runners, with 55% of those surveyed opting for the current president, as the first bne:Chart below shows.

Gennady Zyuganov placed second, with a mere 4% of respondents saying that they would vote for the Communist Party leader.

The results follow a year that has seen the ruble lose more than half of its value against the dollar as oil prices dropped to lows not seen for over a decade. All of this in the midst of Western sanctions that have increasingly isolated Russia’s economy, which is set to fall into recession in 2014.

Despite this, Putin is riding a wave of huge support, with his approval ratings at an all-time high, and is mooted to run for election again in 2018.

Russia’s current economic hardships if anything have stoked up a latent sense of nationalism that has allowed Putin to emerge as the best option for many Russians.

A further poll by Levada shows that 72% of respondents believe that relations with the West and Nato have gotten worse in 2014, compared with only 29% in 2013.

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