The main problem of presidential elections in March 2018 — the low turnout, said the General Director of VTSIOM Valery Fyodorov in an interview .
“The first risk is low turnout. Presidential elections — the only elections in Russia, which is critical for the stability of the system is the main source of its legitimacy, he said.
The legitimacy of the state system in Russia determines “not the Constitution, not laws, and the popularity of the first person,” recalled Fyodorov, so low turnout is a blow to the legitimacy”, he explained the essence of the problem of the upcoming vote.
According to Fyodorov, in principle, for the election of the President to ensure a high level of turnout is easier to solve than elections for other levels, but at the same time, the high turnout observed in the election, where people understand what they can lose in the event of victory, not the candidate who they like.
“Is there any chance that in the elections of 2018 will win anyone but Putin? Yes, there is such a chance. But it exists only in the case if Putin refuses to stand and offer yourself instead of someone else. If he is going to run, there is no such chance,” said Fedorov. Accordingly, in his words, “a rational motive to come out and support Putin voters, who are convinced that he will win, goes to zero”. “So, increases the desire to stay home. Especially because we are talking about the fourth term for Putin”, — summed up the General Director of VTSIOM.
If you go the way of administrative mobilization of voters to increase turnout, there is a lot of risks such as those that are fully realized in the Duma elections in 2011, says Fedorov. The campaign in 2018 will attract a lot of attention, both within the country and outside, said Fyodorov in an interview, that will be “many who want to demonstrate that the victory of Putin is a fake.” “Therefore, the scenario primarily administrative mobilization for the election in 2018 threat,” — said Fedorov. However, he expressed confidence that in the Kremlin know it.
Among other risks in the presidential election, he called the low voting activity of the most active and able-bodied segments of the population, and poor vote in large cities.
24 Dec 2016 President’s administration held a seminar for Vice-governors on internal politics, one of the educational problems which, as reported , was a discussion of the 70% turnout in the presidential elections and getting the same result for the primary candidate.
So far the turnout for the presidential elections in Russia never reached the figure of 70%, though, and approached her. In 2012 it amounted to 65.3%, in 2008 — more than 69% in 2004 to 64.4% in 2000 to 68.7%. In the 1996 presidential elections, which were held in two rounds, the turnout in the first round was equal to 69.8% and in the second — 69,4%.