A poll conducted by mobile phone in Russia suggests that Vladimir Putin will comfortably win the upcoming Presidential election. Although the poll is obviously unscientific (I know, all polls are unscientific) the sample size was fairly large – just under 100,000.
The poll did contain two results that I found a little surprising. First, Putin only got 61.4% of the vote, which is lower than I would have expected. And, second, Irina Khakamada, the only woman running and probably Putin’s most vocal critic, got 20.5% of the vote, far higher than I would have expected.
I’m not really sure what to make of those figures and frankly wonder exactly where Khakamada’s vote is coming from. The obvious choice for many who oppose Putin is the Communist Party, but they haven’t fielded a serious candidate this year. From my admittedly cursory examination, Khakamada seems to me to be fairly liberal when it comes to economic matters. I would imagine that mobile phone owners are fairly well off economically and in favour of economic liberalisation, so maybe that is a factor, but I wonder if it is the full story. Will the protest vote in Russia centre around Khakamada? It will be interesting to see how much of the actual vote she ends up with.
The full breakdown of the poll results are here.