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Instant View: Exit polls show Putin's party suffers big decline

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Dec. 4, 2011, 11:17 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Reuters

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MOSCOW, Dec 4 (Reuters) - Two exit polls showed that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's ruling party suffered a big decline in support in a parliamentary election on Sunday, winning less than half of votes cast.

Following are reactions to the exit polls: VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRIME MINISTER

"Despite all the difficulties and responsibility placed on the (United Russia) party's shoulders, our voters, our citizens have preserved it as the leading political party.

"This is an optimal result which reflects the real situation in the country... Based on this result we can guarantee stable development of our country."

DMITRY MEDVEDEV, PRESIDENT, HEAD OF UNITED RUSSIA PARTY LIST

"We need to get a functional Duma which will not be swamped with controversies  for that we need a powerful, strong United Russia faction and we need to have friendly relations with our partners in the State Duma."

"In any case, taken the more complicated configuration of the Duma, we will have to enter in to coalitions and agreements (with other parties) on certain issues. This is normal, this is what parliamentarianism and democracy are about."

BORIS GRYZLOV, HEAD OF THE RULING COUNCIL OF UNITED RUSSIA

"We are watching and hope that we shall get a majority of the mandates in the Duma."

"We received support from the electorate... We can say that United Russia remains the ruling party."

"I congratulate you all and thank the electorate again."

GENNADY ZYUGANOV, COMMUNIST PARTY LEADER

"Despite their efforts to break public opinion, the country has refused to support United Russia."

"The country has never seen such a dirty election, even during the depth of the collapse under President Boris Yeltsin."

SERGEI OBUKHOV, COMMUNIST LAWMAKER

"Russia has a new political reality even if they rewrite everything."

VLADIMIR RYZHKOV, LIBERAL OPPOSITION LEADER

"I think the real percentage of votes United Russia received was from 35 to 45 percent.

"These elections are unprecedented because were carried out against the background of a collapse in trust in Putin, Medvedev and the ruling party. This is the most important political circumstance. I think that the March (presidential) election will turn into an even bigger political crisis, disappointment, frustration, with even more dirt and disenchantment, and an even bigger protest vote."

ANDREI PIONTKOVSKY, POLITICAL ANALYST

"It's the beginning of the end.

"It shows a loss of prestige for the party and the country's leaders. They are more despised mow than respected.

"People are fed up."

SERGEI BELANOVSKY, POLITICAL ANALYST

"I think there is a trend of the authorities' legitimacy falling, primarily Putin's.

"Although the people are not inclined to aggressive and violent behaviour, can the "new old" authorities run the country with a slump in ratings and not being ready to shoot? I do not know if it is possible to run a country where everyone hates you."

DMITRY ORESHKIN, INDEPENDENT POLITICAL ANALYST

"No one expected such a sharp downfall for United Russia. A separate analysis in cities and towns shows that United Russia fell even further in cities -- where it has between 30-35 percent of the votes and the Communists have 20-25 percent of the vote.

"This is a bad climate for Putin. He has got used to the fact that he controls everything, but now how can he go into a presidential campaign when United Russia has embittered people against their leader? The fact that they bullied voters, the fact that they barred election monitors, it means they did battle with the people. People understand this and will remember it. So Putin has a problem.

"Putin has stopped being a magic wand. Putin evokes growing protest."

ALEKSEI MAKARKIN, CENTER FOR POLITICAL TECHNOLOGIES

"The departure of the middle class (from the ruling party) has been key throughout this campaign. Medvedev was able to interest them initially. These people were counting on his second term  to begin a time of political modernisation."

GENNADY GUDKOV, CANDIDATE FOR "JUST RUSSIA"

"[This is the] hysteria and agony of power. We need to clearly understand that today's ruling party is no longer the party of the majority."

"If in 2007 there were mass violations, we understood nevertheless that this was the party of the majority. Today this majority did not support them."

"In his place (President Dmitry Medvedev) I would have refused (to be prime minister)."

SERGEI ALEKSASHENKO, DIRECTOR OF MACROECONOMIC RESEARCH, HIGHER SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS

"The main result of these elections will be a significant fall in votes for United Russia. In other words, United Russia has passed its peak and is now starting a downward slide."

CHARLES ROBERTSON, HEAD OF MACRO RESEARCH, RENAISSANCE CAPITAL

"Overall - this does add a small layer of political uncertainty. But it's not clear that any candidate except for Putin could seriously expect to win the presidency on 4th March. The question will be how can he respond to the decline in enthusiasm for United Russia?" (Reporting by Maria Tsvetkova, Jennifer Rankin, Alexei Anishchuk and Gleb Bryanski, Editing by Timothy Heritage)
The Kyiv Post is hosting comments to foster lively debate. Criticism is fine, but stick to the issues. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks will be removed from the site. If you think that a posted comment violates these standards, please flag it and alert us. We will take steps to block violators.
Anonymous Dec. 4, 2011, 11:22 p.m.    

Now that the communists come back strong, the USSR will be put back even faster.

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Anonymous Dec. 4, 2011, 11:33 p.m.    

Putin has already won. It's a farce election.

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Anonymous Dec. 4, 2011, 11:39 p.m.    

Please hold your breath until that happens!

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Anonymous Dec. 5, 2011, 1:29 a.m.    

Not to worry. A government ordered recount will recover those 16%-17% lost votes.

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Anonymous Dec. 5, 2011, 1:59 a.m.    

Even the widespread fraud and intimidation of the voters cannot disguise the fact that United Russia has lost heavily. And rightly so- the party has done almost NOTHING for the ordinary Russians during the years they were in power. The sooner the demented dwarf Rasputin and his sidekick Medvedev disappear the better- and they should take their corrupt oligarch friends with them. However, the Medvedev Girls can and should stay- they are cute!

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Anonymous Dec. 5, 2011, 4:13 a.m.    

Most important though, not a single pro-western party won anything of substance - communists and united russia easily can push for reconstruction of the USSR in Eurasia form. And the democratically elected super leader Putin will be happy to shove his middle finger into the angry face of the broke and sinking western morons, heh, heh, heh :D

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Anonymous Dec. 5, 2011, 4:38 a.m.    

When you say pro west you really mean pro USA. Please not not include Europe in USA in the same boat. They are not.

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Anonymous Dec. 5, 2011, 4:52 a.m.    

Yes, the EU is already dead, heh, heh, heh:D

Keep buying our gas, loser.

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Anonymous Dec. 5, 2011, 5:14 a.m.    

heh, heh, heh:D

You sound like an idiot.

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Anonymous Dec. 5, 2011, 5:28 a.m.    

Nashi rocks, we are cool! Vote United Russia! :D

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Anonymous Dec. 5, 2011, 9:03 a.m.    

Russians are the poorest white country in the world after Ukraine. Quite an accomplishment

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Anonymous Dec. 5, 2011, 11:35 p.m.    

Russians have THREE TIMES the Ukraine income, you broke xoxol moron, heh, heh, heh :D

Russia is far richer compared to the US where the DEBT is higher than the US GDP, and possesses the third largest FOREX reserve in the World while the EU roots in debt.

Russia kick arse while the west sinks down the shiter hole, heh :D

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Anonymous Dec. 5, 2011, 4:50 a.m.    

Everyone knows that no real opposition is allowed to compete. As soon as a liberal party starts to gain legitimacy, they are destroyed by administrative means.

So now you can reconstruct the poor USSR. People living in poverty, like rats in 50 year old high rises or in villages and going to the bathroom in a bucket or outdoors. Congratulations.

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Anonymous Dec. 5, 2011, 11:38 p.m.    

LOL idiot, Russia is far richer than most of the BROKE western fools who root in DEBT. The US is the most pathetic of them all, heh, heh, heh :D

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Anonymous Dec. 5, 2011, 4:31 a.m.    

At 50% of the vote they will still win government in their own right with 53% (239 out of 450) seats. Putin personal support is much greater and it is expected that he will win the presidency in the first round. The cost of holding a Presidential election in Russia is around one billion dollars. Money that could be better spent elsewhere in the Russian economy.

Russia, like Ukraine, should adopt a full parliamentary model of governance and a preferential 'ranked' voting system. One round same result at half the cost.

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Anonymous Dec. 5, 2011, 4:42 a.m.    

Putin has already won that is a given. They are making it seem like a close race to give the appearence of a democratic election.

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Anonymous Dec. 5, 2011, 9:01 a.m.    

Its quite pathetic and everyone knows it. Rather than saying maybe we should govern better they say oh great we have a majority and the country will be stable because we won. Optimal result my foot

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