"United Russia" leads primaries

Valery Fyodorov, director-general of the all-Russia Public Opinion Centre, told reporters Tuesday that "primaries" conducted by the Centre revealed that the United Russia had notably outrun the Communist Party.

Monthly polls indicate that a gap between the United Russia and the Communist Party had reached seven points. But according to the primaries staged by the Centre last weekend, this gap, with 32 percent of votes in favour of the United Russia and 14 percent in favour of the Communist Party, has markedly widened, said Fyodorov.

He also said that the Liberal Democratic Party with its 9 percent of votes is a steady third runner.

As to the Union of Right Forces (SPS) and YABLOKO, the former can feel safe with its seven percent while the latter has overcome the five-percent barrier for Duma affiliation by a narrow margin, said Fyodorov.

The rating of the Rodina (Fatherland) bloc (4.9 percent) is constantly on the rise, which is also true about the Russian Pensioners Party (4.5 percent).

The segment voting against all is also very big - nine percent.

The Centre chose for these primaries three constituencies where the voting in 1995 and 1999 was the closest to the average figure about Russia. These are Vladimir, Belgorod (both are situated in Central Russia) and Kyshtym (the Chelyabinsk Region, the Urals).

The electors who came to the polling stations received questionnaires, which were copies of electoral ballots. There was door-to-door survey as well. About 6,000 respondents took part in this campaign in all the three constituencies, said Fyodorov.

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