Russians losing interest in political opposition, say it is still needed - poll

Over a half of Russians (57 percent) believes Russia needs political opposition, Levada Center told Interfax.

Over a half of Russians (57 percent) believes Russia needs political opposition, Levada Center told Interfax.

Yet their number has reduced significantly since 2012 (72 percent), the sociologists said.

Twenty-three percent of respondents say Russia does not need political opposition and 20 percent are undecided.

The need for opposition was mostly expressed by men (62 percent vs. 53 percent of women), Russians aged 25-40 (61 percent), people with higher education (60 percent), people with a high consumer status (77 percent) and residents of cities with a population of 100,000 to 500,000 (62 percent) in the poll of 1,600 respondents older than 18 held in late May in 130 populated localities in 45 regions. The opposite opinion was mostly expressed by women (23 percent), Russians older than 55 (30 percent), people with primary education (27 percent), people with a low consumer status (24 percent) and Muscovites (37 percent).

Fifty percent of the respondents gave an affirmative answer to the Levada Center question about the existence of political opposition in Russia (66 percent two years ago).

Most respondents claiming the existence of opposition were men (49 percent), Russians aged 25-40 and younger (52 percent), people with secondary vocational education (54 percent), well-to-do people (56 percent) and Muscovites (60 percent).

The share of Russians saying the country does not have opposition has grown from 24 percent in 2010 to 33 percent now. The percentage of undecided respondents has grown, as well, from 11 percent to 17 percent.

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