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25 июля, 2013

Konstantin Kostin on September the 8th Moscow Elections candidates chances

Surveys clearly show what Muscovites really want. It’s going to be hard to talk about some sort of irregularities or rigging when the leader is six times more popular than his nearest rival. However, Navalni is now actively wooing voters away from the Communist Parties and from the ‘Yabloko’ and ‘Fair Russia’ parties.
Everyone wants to know who will come in second and be the main opposition force in Moscow. We will see a standoff between the Communist Party and Navalni who has received a bit of a boost following the KirovLes court case but this is a media flash in the pan and will soon be forgotten. Opposition groups need a well rounded programme which will unite them if they want to significantly increase their popularity but at present they just have a few ideas picked at random by ‘Yabloka’ and Sobyanin.
According to research carried out by the All Russian Centre for the Study of Public Opinion, Sergei Sobyanin has 54%. Due to Navalni is a protest vote candidate and not an alternative to Sobyanin. As a protest candidate Navalni cannot compete with this.
The survey, which was carried out at the start of the campaign, points to Sobyanin’s sustained leadership. It is likely that he will win the first round with over 60% of the vote. Alexei Navalny does not have the potential to ‘woo’ the electorate away from Sobyanin. At the moment he is trying to attract support among those voters who have never voted for Sobyanin. And Navalni might have serious problems trying to consolidate potential voters. At present his supporters are quite heterogeneous – they have various political views, are from varying age groups and social groups and have all sorts of different reasons for voting.
The most that Navalni can hope to achieve is around 12% of the vote. He is simply a protest candidate whose policy is to be ‘against everyone’ and is thus not an alternative. Many of those who say they want to vote for Navalni see their vote as a safe way to show their dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs. Safe because he cannot win.
It is the Communist Party who have for the past 18 years come in a stable second in electoral races so Mel’nikov may turn out to the most significant challenge to Sergey Sobyanin.