This time, in the MCC Votes & Seats analysis we investigate the background of the September 2021 legislative election in the Russian Federation. President Vladimir Putin's United Russia won nearly 50% of the vote, which provides the party a clear majority in the lower house, the State Duma. However, our guest analyst, Mr. Anton Bendarjevskiy* claims that pre-election opinion polls have shown a considerable loss of support for the ruling party. Besides United Russia, only the so-called systemic parties managed to get into the State Duma that generally supports the government’s initiatives. Our guest expert highlights that due to the decreasing interest towards foreign and strategic affairs, the nationalist opposition parties faced a significant loss of popularity, while center-left and liberal systemic parties (also supposedly backed by the government) seemed to benefit from the social and economic issues that dominated the campaign. Mr. Bendarjevskiy explains to us why this legislative election was even more problematic than the previous ones. There were allegations of widespread electoral fraud, and the extended election procedure helped government authorities and state-owned companies to mobilize employees to vote. Additionally, the country analyst state that from 10 up to 30% of the vote could have been “stolen” amid the newly introduced electronic voting. If you would like to get some information over the possible composition of the new government, if you would like to know why the opposition activist Alexei Navalny’s “Smart Voting” initiative did not turn to be effective, and if you are interested in what might be the key to the success of the new systemic parties, click on one of the links below and give a listen to our latest podcast. *Mr. Bendarjevskiy was born in Belarus. He studied History, Media, and Communications at the University of Pécs, and frequented a Political Science formation at the University of Leicester (UK). Mr. Bendarjevskiy is completing his Ph.D. in geopolitics at the University of Pécs. His topic is the integration processes in the post-Soviet region. Since June 2021, Mr. Bendarjevskiy is the Director of Research at Danube Institute.

Apple Podcast: HERE.