Bashkirova & Partners » Blog » Opinion Polls » Democracy or autocracy? Russians’ choice

Democracy or autocracy? Russians’ choice

 BASHKIROVA and partners independent research agency introduces the results of our new study devoted to political preferences of Russians. In course of national representative survey respondents were asked to share their views on which political system is the most appropriate for our country.

Almost 40% of respondents prefer present political system. More than one third (35%) of respondents prefer Soviet style system and only 12% choose European style liberal democracy.

We’d like to draw the reader’s attention to the fact that although a prominent part of respondents support the present system, the results of the survey show that in the whole a large part of our co-citizens share democratic political views. For example, two third of respondents consider democracy the best regime, although it has its certain flaws. They also think real competition at the elections makes the political system of our country more stable and citizens must have a right to organize a protest against any governmental initiative. More than a half (55%) of respondents put interests of citizens before the ones of the country.  

At the same time the majority of Russians (83%) would support establishing order even by authoritarian means in case of civil unrest or fights. Thus, in case of foreign-policy crisis or an external threat Russians will definitely choose “strong” government, though it doesn’t mean their “original”, “historical” commitment to the autocratic governmental style.

Based on the above, we suppose that Russians tend to support present political system due to two reasons: firstly, a prominent part of citizens doesn’t consider it autocracy. And secondly, a tense state of foreign policy and economic crisis frighten Russians with possible convulsions can push people to seek protection of the government, though it cannot always be called a democratic one.



The study was conducted in February, 2016 on national random route sample of Russian citizens (18+) by means of face-to-face interviews in place of residence. 1500 respondents in 8 federal districts, 129 settlements, 238 sampling points have been surveyed. Sampling error ± 2.5% by C.I. of 95%.  

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