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Putin can count on support of 81% of Russians planning to vote in 2018 election — poll

Putin is followed by the Communist Party’s candidate, Pavel Grudinin, who would have support of 7.6% of the polled

MOSCOW, January 12. /TASS/. More than 81% of Russians who plan to cast their votes at presidential elections would support Russia’s incumbent president, Vladimir Putin, should the voting be held this coming Sunday, the Russian Public Opinion Research Center said on Friday citing the results of a recent poll.

Thus, as many as 81.1% of respondents, or by 2.7% less than on December 17, said they would cast their votes for Putin. The Communist Party’s (CPRF) candidate, Pavel Grudinin, would have support of 7.6% of the polled. Notably, the rating of CPRF leader Gennady Zyuganov was mere 3.3% a month ago.

LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky has added 0.1% since the previous last month to be the third after Putin and Grudinin with 4.2% of support.

Socialite and TV host Ksenia Sobchak can count on 0.7% of votes (0.3 % last month). Yabloko party leader Grigory Yavlinsky has lost 0.2% to enjoy support of 0.6% of the polled. Some 0.4% of respondents said they would vote for the leader of the Party of Growth, Boris Titov. The same number of respondents (by 0.2% less than on December 17) said they would come to polling stations to invalidate their ballot papers.

A total of 0.6% of the polled, or by 0.8% less than a month ago, said they would support another candidate. As many as 4.4% said they are still undecided.

The survey was conducted by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center on January 8-10, with 3,000 Russians aged 18 and above interviewed over the phone. The margin of error does not exceed 1.8% with a probability of 95%.

Presidential contenders

As of today, Russia’s Central Election Commission has registered only two candidates, namely Pavel Grudinin nominated by the CPRF and Vladimir Zhirinovsky nominated by the LDPR.

President Putin, who has opted to run for his next office as a self-nominee, has to collect at least 300,000 signatures of voters to be registered as a presidential candidate. According to the spokesman for his election team, Andrei Kondrashov, as many as 408,000 signatures have already been collected and the campaign would be continued to "have some margin."

Ksenia Sobchak, a candidate from the Civil Initiative off-parliament party, has to collect at least 100,000 signatures. Her elections team said on Friday, she already has 51,000 signatures.

Russian presidential elections will be held on March 18.