MOSCOW, December 20. /TASS/. A total of 83.3% of respondents, planning to cast their ballot in the upcoming presidential election in Russia, will support incumbent President Vladimir Putin should the vote take place next Sunday, according to a survey by the VTsIOM pollster.
Some 70% of all respondents said they will certainly go to polling stations, VTsIOM said.
"According to the latest information, 83.3% of Russians, certainly planning to cast their ballot, will be ready to vote for Vladimir Putin during the presidential election (should it take place next Sunday)," reads a VTsIOM survey, obtained by TASS.
In the age categories the results were as follows: Putin has the support of 82.2% among young respondents, 83.3% among respondents aged 45-59 and 88.8% among people aged 60 or older.
The approval ratings of other likely presidential candidates are as follows: LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky - 4.1%, Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov - 3.3%, Yabloko party founder Grigory Yavlinsky - 0.8%, Party of Growth leader Boris Titov - 0.7%, TV host Ksenia Sobchak (from the Civil Initiative party) - 0.3%
According to the pollster, "the declared turnout is 70%" In addition, 11% said they will "likely take part," 12% are undetermined, four percent will "definitely skip" the vote and three percent are "likely" to do so.
"Just like six years ago, with three months left until the presidential election, the vast majority of Russians express their intention to come to polling stations and cast their ballot," a VTsIOM official, Yulia Baskakova, said. "Not all of those who intend to take part in the election today will do so, but a relatively high turnout is nothing unusual for presidential polls."
The phone interview was conducted on December 15-17, among 1,800 Russians above the age of 18 (that is, having the right to vote). The margin of error is estimated to be below 2.5%
The presidential election in Russia is scheduled for March 18, 2018. Chairperson of the Russian Central Election Commission (CEC) Ella Pamfilova has launched the official countdown during Monday’s commission meeting. The countdown to the Election Day started on the large screen of the CEC assembly hall.
At present, according to the Central Election Commission, 23 people have stated their intention to run for the Russian presidency.
Incumbent Russian President Vladimir Putin will be running for his fourth term as an independent candidate. Putin was elected to his current term in 2012 from the United Russia party, which has already stated that it would support Putin in every way and will help gather the necessary 300,000 voter signatures.
Among potential candidates for the presidential race, not mentioned in the VTsIOM survey, are political scientist and Social Technology Center head Andrey Bogdanov, Women’s Dialogue party leader Yelena Semerikova, businessman Sergey Polonsky, singer and human rights activist Yekaterina Gordon and others.
Leaders of the two other Russian parliamentary parties - the CPRF and A Just Russia - have remained mum on their participation in the election. Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov said earlier that the party’s leader needs to always be ready to compete in elections, but the matter was up to the party congress to decide. Anyway, according to Zyuganov, the CPRF will go to the presidential election as a big team of "national patriotic forces."
A Just Russia leader Sergey Mironov recently told reporters that the party sees Vladimir Putin’s nomination positively. That said, a source with the A Just Russia party told TASS that the party would probably refrain from nominating its own candidate and will support Putin.