Navalny Pushes For Second Round In Moscow Mayoral Election

September 9, 2013
A volunteer updates the results of Moscow's mayoral election, Tverskaya street, Moscow (AP/Denis Tyrin)

Alexei Navalny and his campaign manager maintain that Sergei Sobyanin did not receive more than 50% of the votes, which would force a runoff vote between Sobyanin and Navalny, the top two vote-getters in Moscow’s mayoral election.

For more background on yesterday’s elections, click here.

For a summary of the election results as of this morning, scroll to the bottom or click here to jump to our summary. Updates are below:


1520 EDT: United Russia has had a bad day, but they have retained power in the Moscow region, the area just outside the capital. We have translated an article that describes how United Russia’s power structure has allowed them to keep a stranglehold in many areas, despite infighting within the power and the surging force of Alexei Navalny.

Read our separate article, “Victory of Andrei Vorobyov in Moscow Suburbs Totally Expected”

1332 EDT: The pro-Navalny rally has continued to grow, and now Navalny has addressed the crowd.

Here is a picture of the crowds after sundown:

Glenn Kates is live-tweeting Navalny’s comments:

And this may be the key observation:

1206 EDT: A live video of the pro-Navalny rally can be seen on Svobada Radio. It is, of course, in Russian, but still gives one a sense of the size and energy of the crowd.

Some additional pictures:

1155 EDT: While the focus is on Moscow, for many obvious reasons, we’ll also be trying to look at election results from across Russia in order to get a sense of the larger trends in Russia’s electoral process.

We’ve published a report about a heated and contested mayoral election in Yekaterinburg (sometimes written as “Ekaterinburg,” map), the 4th largest city in Russia and the provincial capital of Sverdlovsk Oblast. The incumbent mayor Jacov Silin, is a member of Putin’s party (and Sobyanin’s), United Russia. He is behind in the polls to Evgeny Roizman of “Civil Platform,” but there are significant rumors of various kinds of fraud.

Read Large Number of Complains Over Election Results In Yekaterinburg: A close, and disputed, race in Russia’s 4th largest city.

Also, for more about the dynamic between “Civil Platform” and “United Russia” read As United Russia Takes On Water, Russia’s Elite Jump Ship.

1108 EDT: Alexei Navalny’s supporters have staged a rally in Moscow today. So far crowds are small but growing:

Meanwhile, another election monitor is also claiming that Sobyanin does not have more than 50% of the vote:


Here’s the latest poll results, according to “,” which records real-time results based on SMS messages sent from election monitors in the field. We’ve used computer translation to take a snapshot, but the results can be followed here. Note that “appearance” means turnout, “invalid letters” means that the ballots could not be counted, though they still count towards the total ballot count, and “taken home” means that the ballots were removed from the polling place and not returned.

SMS CEC   preliminary data from observers on election

1045 EDT: We’ve published a separate article which explains how Russian officials are supposed to count votes – and how many in the opposition think they actually will count the votes. As Sobyanin needs 50% of the votes to avoid a runoff election, and because the results are so close, it is important to note that the election commission might be incentivized to throw out “spoiled ballots,” a decision which would benefit Sobyanin, and one that is foreshadowed by that article.

Read What to Do on September 8: How votes are counted, and how they are supposed to be counted.

The Tale of Two Election Results

Heading into Sunday’s elections, the polling was overwhelmingly positive news for Sergei Sobyanin, Moscow’s acting mayor. All the polls indicated that Sobyanin would get more than 50% of the vote, easily winning in round one and avoiding a run-off election. Most polls had opposition candidate Alexie Navalny polling at less than 20%.

That didn’t happen. So far, the official preliminary are as follows (according to Kommersant):

  • Sergei Sobyanin 51.37%
  • Alexei Navalny – 27.24%
  • Ivan Melnikov – 10.69%
  • Sergei Mitrokhin – 3.51%
  • Mikhail Degtyarev – 2.86%
  • Nikolai Levichev – 2.79 %

If these numbers become official, then Sobyanin, with more than 50% of the vote, will win outright.

Navalny’s numbers are somewhat different, however. According to his campaign manager, “Navalny won 35.6% of the vote, and Sergei Sobyanin won 46%. The remaining votes are split among other candidates.”

Where does that leave us? Navalny is complaining that with the margins being this small, the government has incentive to “steal every vote” they can, just to ensure that there is no runoff. His office is contacting election monitors to ensure that every vote is counted. It’s likely he’ll push for a recount.

We’ll have more analysis up soon. Needless to say, however, Sobyanin’s decision to shorten the campaign season by resigning and triggering an early election may have been underhanded, but it’s beginning to look like a solid political decision, given Navalny’s strong showing.