Most Russians have stopped hoping that Vladimir Putin will change their life for the better. They met with indifference the news that he is going to return to the Kremlin. This follows from the results of a public opinion poll, conducted by the Levada Centre between September 30 and October 3. A total of 1,600 people were polled. People regard his desire to become the president again as natural.
In the opinion of 42 per cent of the polled, Putin’s decision to run for presidency is the taking back of the post, which he turned over to Dmitry Medvedev four years ago. 24 per cent of the polled regard it as “conspiracy of politicians behind the back of the people,” Vedomosti writes in an article on the results of the public opinion poll. 23 per cent of the polled described Putin’s decision as “a normal political procedure, over which no fuss should be made.
Putin’s decision to run for presidency was met without any emotions by 41 per cent of the polled, while 31 per cent welcomed it. 20 per cent felt negative emotions. The absolute majority of Russians (52 per cent of the population) believe that the population of the country is tired of waiting for changes for the better to come from Putin, and only 6 per cent of Russians are of the opposite opinion.
Many people (34 per cent of the polled) trust Putin, because they do not see anyone else, on whom they could rely, while 35 per cent explain their trust in Putin by the hope that in the future he will cope with problems facing the country. Only 22 per cent are sure that people have seen for themselves that Putin can work “in a successful and dignified way.”
“The indices showing confidence in Putin are much lower than in 2008, but on the whole they are rather high and, probably, will go up during the electoral campaign,” Vedomosti quotes the words of Alexei Grazhdankin, deputy director of the Levada Centre. According to Grazhdankin, the people are getting somewhat tired of Putin, which does not change the fact that he continues to be the most popular politician.
According to the information of the Levada Centre, people met as natural Putin’s decision to become president again, Kommersant writes. Most people met without any special feelings the information from the United Russia congress at which it was announced that “Putin is coming back.” On the whole, there were no radical changes in the popular mood, because what took place at the congress “was expected and predicted well in advance,” the newspaper quotes the words of Alexei Grazhdankin. According to his information, “the public was ready for any development of the situation, and it began to develop in the way, which was the most desirable for it.” This make-up of the opinions shows that “in public opinion Medvedev has not yet become a politician in his own right,” Grazhdankin believes.
If the public feelings do not change by December, Grazhdankin thinks that the struggle at the parliamentary elections will boil down not to the question which of the political parties will win the elections, but with what result UR will win – 60 or 70 per cent of the votes.
UR will get less than in 2007, but still more than 50 per cent of the votes, Boris Makarenko, chairman of the board of the Centre of Political Technologies, said in an interview with The Kommersant. The castling between Putin and Medvedev will not improve the chances of any of the opposition presidential candidates. In the opinion of Evgeny Minchenko, director-general of the International Institute of Political Examination, the presidential elections will be again held in one round.
His opinion has been confirmed by the results of public opinion polls conducted by the Levada Centre. Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov, who is the main rival of Putin, would get 10 per cent of votes, if the elections were held late in September, while Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, would get 7 per cent. The presidential ratings of other candidates are within the limits of the statistical error (3.4 per cent).