Back to zero: why “United Russia” and the governors are losing regions :: Policy :: RBC

For the first time in over ten years Russia will host several second rounds of the gubernatorial election. In four regions of the head are unable to win in the first round, and United Russia in the elections to the legislative Assembly almost everywhere worsened the result

Photo: Vitaly Belousov / RIA Novosti

Second rounds

According to the results of the single voting day, which was held on Sunday, September 9, in the first round failed to win the governors of the four regions. The head of Khakassia Victor Zimin scored of 32.42% of the vote, coming in the second round with a Communist Valentin Konovalov (44,81%). Acting Governor of Primorsky Krai Andrey Tarasenko got 46,56%, in the second round with him was a Communist Andrey Ischenko (of 24.63%). In the Khabarovsk territory Governor Vyacheslav Shport scored 35,62% and its nearest rival, the candidate from LDPR Sergey Furgal, — 35,81%. The head of the Vladimir region Svetlana Orlova received 36,42%, coming in the second round with the representative of LDPR Vladimir Sipagin (of 31.36%).

The last time elections in two rounds held in Russia in 2015 — then a candidate from the Communist party Sergei Levchenko won the acting head of the Irkutsk region Sergey Eroschenko. But several second round in the gubernatorial campaigns — a phenomenon for modern Russia is almost unique. This has not happened since 2004 when the government passed a law to abolish the direct election of governors.

In the presidential administration was prepared for the second tour in the Republic of Khakassia, Khabarovsk Krai and Vladimir oblast, told RBC two people close to the Kremlin. Khabarovsk Governor Vyacheslav Shport almost led the campaign, said one of the sources of RBC.

In the Vladimir region there is a conflict of elites is reflected in the results of Orlova, adds the interlocutor of RBC. The rating of the Governor, he said, for the last time have grown, but until the last moment no one had absolute confidence that she would win in the first round, he says.

The head of Khakassia Viktor Zimin was initially very low rating, says one close to the Kremlin interlocutors RBC.

Unexpected for the Kremlin was the exit in the second round of the acting Governor of Primorye Andrey Tarasenko, says one close to the Kremlin sources RBC. Tarasenko was appointed acting head of the region on 4 October 2017 and walked for the first time. The Kremlin believes that to win in the first round, however, prevent the consequences of the Typhoon “Jebe”, which struck the region in early September, says the interlocutor of RBC. Due to flooding and road closures caused by heavy rains in several settlements people just don’t come to the sites, which affected the turnout (30,2%) and the results of the Tarasenko, explains close to the Kremlin, the source of RBC.

Predictions for the second round

Tarasenko have high chances to win in the second round, the source continues, because he is new to the region people and still not feel fatigue. As for Zimin, Shport and Orlova, the situation is more complicated: the practice shows that the current heads of the regions often lose in the second rounds, he recalls.

Among the existing governors more likely to win in the second round — have Tarasenko in Primorye, believe the scientists. “But Shport, Zimin and the eagles will have much work to do to win,” said RBC analyst and former employee of presidential administration Andrey Kolyadin. Agree with him the political scientist Grigory Kazankov, he said that Tarasenko in Primorye scored almost twice as many votes than his main rival.

Andrey Tarasenko

(Photo: Yuri Smityuk / TASS)

Political consultant Dmitry Fetisov is convinced that the chances of victory of the incumbent heads in the second round are high. “The opponents in the mass of frivolous, and the second round — the result of a protest vote, not their merit,” he says.

Director of research Fund ISSI Alexander Fire suggests that in the Khabarovsk territory more chances to win the candidate of the liberal democratic party Sergey Furgala — “an experienced politician and, importantly, the local MP, under which “United Russia” in 2016, released single-mandate constituency in elections to the state Duma”.

In Khakassia and in Vladimir region there is a paradoxical situation, the expert believes. There in the second round with the governors out the candidates-“noname”, no managerial experience, whose role before the election seemed technical. “The staffs of governors has the opportunity to play on this contrast, however, in Khakassia is unlikely to help Zimin,” concluded Fire.

Deterioration of the results of “United Russia”

On the background of the pension reform “United Russia” has lowered their results in almost all the legislatures of the regions. Campaign in regional parliaments took place in 16 subjects.

The strongest fall — by 24.64% recorded at the end of the campaign to the Legislative Assembly of the Ulyanovsk region. If the last election in 2013, the ruling party got here 57,62% of the votes, but now, according to preliminary data, — 32,98%.

More than 20% fell the results of United Russia in Khakassia, where the list of the ruling party was headed by Viktor Zimin, Ivanovo and Kemerovo regions.

More than 15% in comparison with the previous elections to the legislative Assembly of the “United Russia” lost in Bashkortostan, more than 10% in TRANS-Baikal territory, the Irkutsk and Vladimir oblasts.

In six regions — Buryatia, Arkhangelsk, Rostov, Smolensk, Yaroslavl regions and the Nenets Autonomous district — the decline was from 2% to 8%.

A source close to the leadership of United Russia, said earlier RBC that the party rating has hit pension reform, which was supported by United Russia, in the end, the level of support they slipped in all regions, and the results of elections in legislative Assembly is expected to fall results in average on 10-15% in comparison with the expectations that were in the party in the spring.

But in two regions United Russia has acted contrary to the General trend and increased its results. In the elections to the Legislative Assembly of Yakutia party, according to preliminary data, received 50,04 against 47,41% in the last election. In Kalmykia, the increase is even more impressive: 68,58 against 51,34% at the end of the previous campaign.

In three regions on elections in legislative Assembly United Russia lost the campaign of the Communists in Irkutsk, Ulyanovsk regions and Republic of Khakassia.

Irkutsk oblast was initially considered one of the most problematic for the party of regions, previously told RBC sources in the “United Russia”. There are traditionally strong position of the Communists, at the head of the region Governor from the Communist party.

United Russia received lists 27,83%, while the Communists from 33.94%. The party is expected to form a majority in the legislative Assembly through single-seat districts, but these expectations were not fulfilled, said RBC a source in the leadership of “United Russia”. According to the results of the campaign can be replaced by the head of the regional branch of the ruling party, said the interlocutor of RBC.

Photo: Eugene biyatov / RIA Novosti

In Khakassia “United Russia” received of 25.26%, and the Communists — 31,01%, in Ulyanovsk oblast the United Russia 32,98%, the Communist party — a 36.25%. In Khakassia Republic and Ulyanovsk region United Russia also failed to form a majority in the legislative Assembly taking into account the results of elections in single-member districts. Had the majority in the TRANS-Baikal region, told RBC a source close to the leadership of “United Russia”.

Also, the ruling party lost the elections to the city Council of Krasnoyarsk (25,71%), where the first place was the liberal democratic party (28,12%). The Secretary General Council of “United Russia” Andrei Turchak in an interview with reporters, said that despite the loss, the United Russia party as a whole has improved a little in Krasnoyarsk: if the city Duma of the previous convocation of the party had 12 seats, but now they became 17.

One more loss at the level of cities — Novgorod Duma: the ruling party took the second place (24,39%), losing to the Communists (30,57%).

The only capital city where the mayoral elections were won by the opposition candidate, is Yakutsk. There the mayor was elected representative of the party of revival of Russia Avksentieva Sardana, told reporters the head of the CEC, Ella Pamfilova on the evening of 9 September. According to the analyst Contact, the only reason it wins the election is a reaction to the non-admission to elections of urban popular opposition politician, Deputy of the Yakut of the legislative Assembly and a prominent businessman Vladimir Fyodorov. After withdrawing from the elections Fedorov has switched to the direct support of Avxentieva, even went with her to meetings with voters, reminded the analyst. Its competitor was the Chairman Gordumy United Russia Alexander Savvinov, which was not very well known to voters, have noticed the Fire.

In Khakassia Republic and the Ulyanovsk region, the defeat of the “United Russia” on elections in legislative Assembly in the first place was the predefined population is tired of the current governors, said pozhalov. For this reason the EP got less than 30% in the Vladimir region.

In the Irkutsk region in favor of the Communist party could play a factor in “regional patriotism” among the elites and the active part of the population, according to Fire. On the one hand, in the list of “United Russia” entered “Varyag” Sergey Sokol, who immediately began to be perceived by elites as a potential future Governor is a Communist Sergei Levchenko. On the other hand, on the arm of the Communist party was the theme of the power of pressure on the team, however, apparently perceived by the voter as a confirmation of the strength of the Communists and the weakness of the “United Russia”, says the analyst.

Respondents RBC experts agreed that another reason for the defeat of the ruling party in the legislative Assembly was the public reaction to the Federal reform. Mainly we are talking about pension reform, which had a negative impact on the party and strengthened the influence of opposing reform parties, said koliadyn. The analyst Kazankov also referred to the VAT increase and General deterioration of the quality of life in the regions. “Just look at the rising price of gasoline, — he said RBC. — Elections to the legislative Assembly was due to a protest vote by disgruntled people.”

Evaluation of the

The election results came in better than expected, said RBC a source in the leadership of “United Russia”: “We thought that all will go with the Communists neck and neck”.

Without competition and observers: as the elections were held in Moscow and the Moscow region


Turchak said the result of the campaign “realistic”. “Neither the ruling party did not win after raising the retirement age, so the results recognized successful,” he said.

The Kremlin also believe that in the context of pension reform, the impact of which took over the party, its results can be considered decent, told RBC a source close to the presidential administration. The main result of these elections, the Kremlin sees the fact that no opposition force was unable to lead the protest against raising the retirement age — the meetings of the Communist party was not well attended, even less numerous are the rallies of supporters of Navalny, he added.

“Baker’s dozen” parties with the benefit

Another result of the elections was the change in the list of parties that are exempt from having to collect signatures for elections to the state Duma. Up to the present time from the collection of signatures was released four parliamentary parties — United Russia, KPRF, LDPR, “Fair Russia” and “Civic platform”, “Patriots of Russia” ecological party “Green party”, the Party of growth, the Party of people’s freedom (PARNAS), “Civil force”, “Communists of Russia”, Yabloko, Rodina and the Russian party of pensioners for justice.

According to the law “On basic guarantees of electoral rights of citizens” that the party had received this privilege, it must be on the list at least one municipal representative authority in the region.

PARNAS, “Civil force” and “Civil platform” quotas are lost. And the Party of pensioners and the Communist party of social justice received quotas for elections to the state Duma.

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