Bashkirova & Partners » Blog » Opinion Polls » Growing confidence in the Russian Executive

Growing confidence in the Russian Executive

Over the past year, rich in political developments, public opinion surveys have detected considerable increase in confidence in the President and in all key political institutions in Russia. “Bashkirova and partners” Independent Research Agency based on a series of surveys completed in the period of between 2013 and 2015 has undertaken the analysis on how the level of Russians’ confidence in the Russian Federation government and the regional executive authorities has changed over the time.

Before the crisis in Ukraine we could note the trend of Russian people confidence in the Russian government decreasing. Thus, while in early 2013 we could see 55% of our citizens trusting the government headed by D.Medvedyev, then at the beginning of 2014 the relevant percentage went down by 5 p.p.  

During 2014 as the political crisis in Ukraine was translating into the internecine domestic warfare and relationship between Russia and USA with the European States as its allies worsening, a significant share of Russians has reviewed their opinion about the national government’s performance efficiency. The confidence rating for the Russian Cabinet has been growing over the year (in the year early period in particular) and was 75% by February 2015.

This greatest growth rate was amongst Russians of between 25 and 65 of age and amongst residents of cities with population above 500 000. The federal executive power rating was growing in these categories of people by 4 p.p. at a greater rate compared to other categories. 

Furthermore we have to note that respondents, who are 40-55 y.o. as well as residents of cities with population between 500 000 and 1 million people, appear to be more critically mindset towards the national government (both according to the data of 2013 and 2015 surveys).  In other words, some share of the oppositional electorate has dramatically changed its attitude towards the authorities (perhaps they consider all the authorities’ drawbacks to have been compensated with the victories in the Russian foreign policies).   

  

We can see the same trend in Russians’ opinion regarding regional executive authorities (Republican government, administration of oblast or Kray) as in trends related to changes in confidence on the federal government level. In 2013 the percentage of respondents, having confidence in the federal subjects authorities officials went down by 5 p.p., but ultimately it grew over year 2014 up to 55%.

The percentage of respondents having responded positively to the question on trust towards the regional authorities is the highest amongst the young under 25 y.o., (61%), i.e. the category, living through the crisis aftermath most comfortably (since these are mainly students and young professionals who are not bound to any bank credits or dependents). The least percentage of respondents, having confidence in the regional authorities is found in citizens within the age group of 25-40 y.o., (51%), which is not surprise at all, since there are plenty of those in this group with credits due and dependents. They don’t blame the federal power for their troubles, and yet, currently experiencing these difficulties, they still look more critically at the prevailing authorities.  

 

The least support regional authorities receive in urban settlements under 100 000 of population, which could be explained by poorer standard living, unemployment issues and bad state of local infrastructure, typical for small provincial towns in this country.

 

It’s remarkable that the attitudes towards the federal and regional authorities show strong correlation with respondents’ trust in news on television. Thus, amongst respondents who trust information on national and foreign news broadcasted on Russian TV, we find 88% of those with confidence in the government and amongst those who have no confidence at all,- only 40%. The same trend, however less evident, is typical also for response to the question about trust in regional authorities.

We can explain this by that an individual gets shape of his/her view of executive bodies’ performance effectiveness on the basis of accessible and available information. And while our respondent can assess the oblast (region) authorities’ performance effectiveness from his or her  own everyday life experience, the federal level performance effectiveness can be judged only from critical, or versa, positive messages delivered by the media.  

 

  

This study was conducted in February 2015 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%.





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