Bashkirova & Partners » Blog » Opinion Polls » Russian citizens prefer elections not rallies

Russian citizens prefer elections not rallies

Bashkirova and partners has wondered by Russian citizens which forms of political involvement they think are most effective.


Participation in elections of any level (exercising one’s voting right) is the most common way of expressing one’s political stance in Russia. 77% of our people used to take part in elections at least once in life. It should be noted that currently much smaller percentage of voters attend elections regularly. Thus at average about 55% of registered voters attended regional legislative assembly deputy elections on September 14th (with the least of 26% in Khabarovsky Kray up to the at most of 81% in Tatarstan). In the regions with elections for the Federation entities leaders, the turnout made about 46% at average (from 30% in Volgograd oblast to 75% in the Republic of Bashkortostan).

Expressing own political views and stances by means of rallies and protests appears much less popular within Russians interviewed. Only 11% of respondents have ever at least once in life attended political rallies.

Political discussions in social media are of interest only to 9% of our citizens. We have already used to cover in our earlier publications on the poor politicization in the Russian Internet users.

Strikes appear the least popular undertakings amongst our citizens. Only 5% of respondents have such an experience. A lucky strike is impossible without a developed Trade Union movement. Independent trade unions are weak and they lack the culture of solidarity of workers in different industries and businesses.


Nearly two thirds of Russians (60%) consider participation in elections to be an effective form of political activity. It needs noting that not all of the respondents with voting experience believe this form of political involvement is effective in today’s Russia (the difference reaches 10 p.p.*).

A third of our citizens are convinced of effectiveness of strikes, rallies and petitions. We may assume that some respondents, despite their allocating the high rating to the effectiveness of these methods listed, still retain from these methods of political involvement over lacking necessary infrastructure and facilities (incl. independent trade unions, massive political parties, not having sufficient resources non-government communities). Another part of respondents keeps staying reluctant, since they can’t see any burning issues, able to mobilize a man in the street which is now in overall apolitical.

It should be noted that only 18% of respondents are convinced of efficacy of online discussions on policies and social issues. So we’d better agree that social media is rather a popular way of spending spare time entertaining, than a tool for political mobilization.


This study was conducted in September 2014 based on all-Russia random route sample (18+) by means of face-to-face interviews in place of residence. Altogether 1500 respondents in 8 federal districts, 150 settlements, 200 sample points have been surveyed. The sample error makes up 2,5%.


*p.p. – percentage points






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