Today we publish two different polls with two different narratives. This one, originally published on the 15th by Vedomosti, suggests that Sobyanin, the incumbent mayor, is losing ground. This assessment clashes with the results of the other poll, as well as the analysis of most experts. However, it may hide the larger headline.
Sergei Sobyanin is Moscow’s current mayor, though he stepped down, triggering a special election and a shortened election season. Sobyanin has then refused to participate in the debates between candidates, where Sobyanin has been the target of all of the other candidates. (See our coverage of the 1st and 2nd debates).
Sobyanin, for his part, has barely left President Putin’s side, attending many public appearances and media events and choking the other candidates out of television time.
This poll suggests that Sobyanin may be losing ground, and Navalny may be gaining ground. If true, this matches the assessment that Putin is worried about the surging opposition in Moscow. – Ed.
The marketing company Synovate Comcon published the results of a poll conducted from 8 through 14 August. Among Muscovites who have already decided whom to vote for as mayor, 63.4% are ready to vote for acting Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin. Thus, within a week, Sobyanin’s election rating fell by almost 11 percentage points — twice as much as in the previous month (from 4 July to 7 August). During that time, the rating of Sobyanin’s main opponent, Alexei Navalny, rose by 5 percentage points to 19.9%. That is, in five weeks, the number of Navalny’s supporters doubled; for the week of 4-10 July, his rating was 10.7%. These figures illustrate that the electorate are taking away votes from the “basket” of the self-nominated Sobyanin in favor of other candidates, says Comcon; but the main spread of forces has not changed as before – the rating leader remains Sobyanin.
Comcon also indicates that last week, in the question about the intention to vote, along with the name of the candidate, the name of the party that nominated him was also mentioned to the respondent. “This factor, along with the activization of public activity of the candidates, played a noticeable role in the dynamic of the ratings,” Comcon said in a statement on its web site. Ivan Melnikov, the candidate from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation rose by 2.5 percentage points to 7.8%; Sergei Mitrokhin, the candidate from Yabloko remained unchanged (4.2%); the ratings of Mikhail Degtyarev from the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia and Nikolai Levichev from Just Russia rose by a factor of almost five in the last week – to 2.3% for each from 0.4% and 0.5% respectively the previous week.
Among all Muscovites (including those who have not yet decided for whom they will vote), 37.9% are prepared to vote for Sobyanin – despite the fact that the acting mayor of Moscow is still getting the majority, this is the lowest indicator for his rating in five weeks. Meanwhile, 11.8% are prepared to vote for Navalny; 4.7% for Melnikov; 2.5% for Mitrokhin and 1.4% for Levichev and Degtyarev.
Comcon noted that the figure for Muscovites who intend to vote has remained stable at 57-58%; 1,200 Muscovites older than 18 took part in the poll with a margin of error of 2.5%. The information was collected through telephone surveys.