Russians recognize need for political opposition but don't believe in it coming to power - poll

In the last eight years the opinion of Russians about the place and role of the opposition in the world today has changed, studies of VTsIOM public opinion center indicate.

In the last eight years the opinion of Russians about the place and role of the opposition in the world today has changed, studies of VTsIOM public opinion center indicate.

The share of Russians believing that the objective of opposition forces is to work out their own course and come to power has grown from 29 percent to 40 percent. However, the majority still tend to think that the opposition is meant to point out to the mistakes of the government and help it in its work (54 percent in 2005 and 50 percent now), sociologists told Interfax pressing the results of a poll taken in mid-September in 130 cities and towns in 42 constituent territories of Russia and involving 1,600 adults.

Now the opinion is more widely spread that true democracy is impossible without political opposition (from 33 percent to 48 percent) while the opinion that the country doesn't need an opposition if the political, social and economic situation is normal, is less dominant (declined from 48 percent to 42 percent).

The opinion about the role of the opposition in political life has changed. Today 28 percent of the polled believe that the influence of the opposition has grown (22 percent in 2005), 30 percent - that it has declined (33 percent) and 32 percent that it has remained unchanged (21 percent).

The opinion that the role of the opposition has grown is shared primarily by supporters of non-parliamentary parties (42 percent).

Comparing the present situation with what it was seven or eight years ago 37 percent of the polled said that today the opposition has smaller chances of coming to power than before. The opinion is spread mainly in big cities (47 percent). Meanwhile, 23 percent of respondents think the opposition has greater chances and 30 percent that the situation has not changed.

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