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Russians Trust In the Government And President

Over the past five years we can observe political unrest growing in different parts of the world. A series of political crises took place in some states of Northern Africa and Middle East which resulted in armed conflicts with thousands of deaths, (Libya and Syria above all). We could also evidence upsurge of political turmoil in some of the countries of the South Europe (Greece, Spain) and Southeast Asia (Thailand). In 2014 the political crisis in neighboring Ukraine has lead to outset of hostilities in its Eastern regions. Under these circumstances a bias free summing-up of our country political stability is of particular relevance.

Bashkirova and partners Independent Research Agency continues to publish a series of press-releases dedicated to estimates of the Russian political system stability and the citizens’ trust in its major components.  

  

In 2013 and early 2014 Bashkirova and partners conducted a series of surveys supposed to estimate this country people’s confidence in the Russian key political system establishments (the State Duma, the Russian government, regional and local authorities). Now we are introducing the outcomes of the study we have carried out in July 2014.

Comparing figures of the year of 2013 and early 2014 we can note some visible growth of confidence in the Russian government. While in time of previous stages of the study we were capturing the level of trust of 50-55% respondents, in Summer 2014 this indicator has grown more than by 25 p.p.* and made 76%. 

Such a rapid growth in confidence level may be conditioned by a number of reasons including: the Olympics successful performance (suspects of thefts in time of the pre-event arrangements and construction have been a key target of critics of the Russian authorities over the whole year of 2013) and Crimea attachment (which has been perceived by many as a prove of this country’s military power and deserving foreign policy resurrection).

Confidence in State Duma has also grown from 33-35% in 2013 up to 55% in summer 2014. It’s remarkable that passing a number of disputable laws (having stirred strong debates in the Russian public) had evidently no impact on level of trust in the parliament, but the overall patriotic upsurge of spring 2014 versa, has influenced its image positively.

It’s also of interest that the level of trust in the regional authorities has increased by 7-12 p.p. (compared to that of 2013 and the beginning of 2014), while rating of the municipal bodies of power was still going down at even a faster pace than in 2013. The reason for that could be the bunch of unsolved problems accumulated in the area of       housing and public utilities above all and other oustanding issues within the competence of the local level authorities.

 Looking at the level of people’s trust in the president, V.Putin, we asked respondents whether they were supporting the president’s policies on a number of the most important areas of focus.  

Naturally the greatest support (88% and 82%) is given to V.Putin’s foreign policies as well as to his stand in relation of the civil war ongoing in the East of Ukraine. More than two thirds of Russians approve the president’s economic policies. Considerably less number of respondents is willing to be with the president in his efforts on reforms for Education and Public Health. Finally just 35% of the interviewed are happy with the president’s policy in the area of housing and public utilities. At the same time it should be noted that housing and public utilities sector is within responsibility of the municipal authorities, and not of the top public official.

 

Taking all the aforesaid into consideration we can estimate the Russian political system as stable enough. All of its main components (President, government, Parliament) enjoy confidence of most of the Russian population. This is only the level of local authorities where we can find some people’s discontent, which however does not so far threaten the entire system stability.

 

The study was conducted early July 2014 based on all-Russia, random route sample (18+) using face-to-face interviews in place of residence. Altogether 1500 respondents in 8 federal districts, 100 settlements, 200 sampling points - have been interviewed. The sample error makes up 2,5%.

 

 

*p.p.percentage point





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