Russian election: Putin-backed party well ahead

Russian election: Putin-backed party well ahead


United Russia, backed by President Vladimir Putin, is far ahead in the country’s parliamentary election, taking more than half the votes, partial results suggest, the BBC reports.

Mr Putin said his party had “achieved a very good result”.

The nationalist LDPR and the Communist party are behind with about 14-16% each.

Liberal opposition parties appear to have failed to pass the 5% threshold needed for party-list representation.

However, earlier exit polls suggest they could still get seats in individual constituencies.

A VTsIOM exit poll gave United Russia, led by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, 44.5%, with the Public Opinion Foundation putting its total higher, at 48.7%.

Partial official results later confirmed a large lead. With 60% of the ballots counted, United Russia had won more than 50% of the vote.

The two exit polls differed on whether the LDPR or Communists were second, but both were well behind.

A Just Russia was fourth on about 8%.

These four parties had dominated the last State Duma (lower house).

Two opposition parties, Yabloko and Parnas, were projected to receive 3.5 and 1.2% respectively.

The turnout was significantly down from the 2011 elections – just below 40% two hours before voting ended.

Election Commission head Ella Pamfilova said she was “fully confident that the elections are proceeding in a quite legitimate way”.