MOSCOW, January 15. /TASS/. Almost two-thirds of Russians are sure that the election campaign among the Russian presidential candidates is being held in a fair and transparent manner, the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center said on Monday.
According to the survey, 34% of Russians believe that the vote scheduled for March 18, 2018 will be fair. Another 46% expect small violations "that won’t affect the outcome of the election," and 17% said the results would be seriously distorted.
In November 2017, some 60% of those polled said the election would be fair, while in December their number grew to 64%. The number of those who thought that the election couldn’t be called truly democratic dropped from 29% in November to 23% in December, the center’s head Valery Fedorov said.
The candidacies of TV socialite and Civil Initiative nominee Ksenia Sobchak and businessman Pavel Grudinin, from the Communist Party, are seen as a sign of real rivalry in the race, Fedorov said.
"In my personal opinion, most likely, this is linked to the emergence of a number of candidates, who had not been expected at this election, most notably Ksenia Sobchak and Pavel Grudinin. Their emergence among the candidates became an indicator for many that this election is indeed free and truly democratic, rather than a giveaway checkers game," Fedorov said.
The nation’s leading polling agency conducted surveys based on daily phone interviews with 1,000 respondents in at least 80 Russian regions since early 2018. The margin of error does not exceed 1.9%