Fewer Than 60 Percent of Russians Plan to Vote in 2018 Elections — Poll

Dec 4, 2017 — 11:27
— Update: Dec. 04 2017 — 09:06

Fewer Than 60 Percent of Russians Plan to Vote in 2018 Elections — Poll

Dec 4, 2017 — 11:27
— Update: Dec. 04 2017 — 09:06
Kirill Zykov / Moskva News Agency

Only 24 percent of Russians said they would definitely vote in the coming March 2018 elections according to a new Levada Center poll conducted in late November.

A little over one-third, 34 percent, said they were likely to cast their vote, according to the poll published Monday morning on Levada's site.

Russia is scheduled to hold presidential elections on March 18, 2018, coinciding with the fourth anniversary of Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin is widely expected to run and win a fourth term in office, though he is yet to announce his candidacy.

Alexei Navalny, an opposition leader who announced a bid for the presidency, has been barred from participating due to fraud charges, though he has continued his nationwide campaign.

Levada Center pollster Denis Volkov told RBC he expected a turnout of between 53 and 55 percent.

Earlier reports suggested that the Kremlin hoped to get 70 percent of votes in the election, from an overall turnout of 70 percent, RBC reported, citing sources close to the administration. In 2012, when Russians last cast a presidential vote, Putin won 63 percent from a turnout of around 65 percent. 

The new Levada survey also asked respondents to name their preferred candidate for president.

The majority of respondents said they would vote for Putin — 54 percent — while LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky was in second place with four percent. Gennady Zyuganov of the Communist Party came in third with three percent.

Only one percent of respondents said they would vote for Navalny.

The Levada Center survey was conducted between Nov. 24 and 28 among 1,600 people in 48 Russian regions.