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Putin currently has no political challengers — poll

June 20, 2014, 15:20 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Seventy-three percent of repondents say they are ready to vote for Putin if he runs in the 2018 presidential election

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MOSCOW, June 20. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin faces no current challenge for the office of president in the eyes of half the population, an opinion poll suggests.

No likely candidate exists now, and "there can be no such politician in the near future", said survey findings of 54% against 48% polled last year. Twenty-seven percent thought such a person would likely emerge, but only 8% reckoned someone was already waiting in the wings.

Most people think no one else has what it takes to fill the top job, with 73% now ready to vote for Putin if he runs in the 2018 presidential election, according to figures released by Russian Public Opinion Research Centrer (WCIOM) on Friday. This rates against 51% polled last year.

Just five percent of respondents said the president’s influence and weight were falling, a steep boost in confidence from the 19% recorded last year.

Twenty percent of those questioned thought Putin “has achieved much but will hardly achieve more than that”, while only 13% said the current leader would fail to win their vote.

WCIOM polled 1,600 people in 130 Russian localities between May 31 and June 1. Statistical error does not exceed 3.4%.

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