United Russia will have a majority for passing routine bills but won’t have the constitutional majority required for adopting constitutional laws. As such, it will be necessary to form coalitions.
interview with Vyacheslav Nikonov, President of the Politika Foundation and Executive Director of the Board of the Russkiy Mir Foundation.
Preliminary election results show that United Russia has lost many votes compared to the last election. Is this the result you expected?
Regarding forecasts, all sociological services predicted that United Russia (UR) would receive four to five percent more votes, that is, 53%-54%. But in reality it got 50%. Did I expect it to get 4% fewer votes? This difference is within the statistical margin of error. It was common knowledge that United Russia would receive fewer votes than in 2007.
Why has United Russia lost the confidence of some of its voters?
This is typical for any ruling party that is in power during an economic crisis. Relatively speaking, it got off easy: most ruling parties that stood for election in Europe lost power.
The Communists and A Just Russia have gained where United Russia has lost. What could you say about their political potential in the Duma?
Needless to say, their potential has increased relative to the number of seats they have gained.
Will these parties have greater influence over decision-making in parliament, or will they support United Russia?
They have never supported it. United Russia easily managed without them, but this is a different matter. Judging by the preliminary election results, United Russia will have a majority for passing routine bills but won’t have the constitutional majority required for adopting constitutional laws. As such, it will be necessary to form coalitions.
What do you think about the impact of the election results on the presidential campaign and future elections?
Most likely there will be serious competition during the presidential campaign. The election won’t be a cakewalk for Vladimir Putin.