BOFIT Viikkokatsaus / BOFIT Weekly 2016/38

Russians went to the polls last Sunday (Sept. 18) to vote for lower-house Duma representatives. As expected, the party of power United Russia dominated, taking 54 % of the overall vote. As a result, United Russia will gain a constitutional majority in the new Duma. The election’s most notable feature was the record-low voter turnout. Only 48 % of registered voters bothered to cast a ballot. Voter turnout in the last Duma elections in December 2011 had a voter turnout of 60 %. Voter turnout was particularly low in Russia’s big cities. Only a third of registered voters in Moscow and St. Petersburg voted. Voter participation and support for United Russia was highest in the North Caucasus republics.

Russians also voted last Sunday on regional governorships in nine regions, regional parliaments in 38 regions, as well as municipal dumas in ten regions. United Russia was the largest party in all of these elections as well.