Putin's party polls dip ahead of Russian vote

Members of United Russia have endured rare public heckling leading into Sunday's parliamentary election.

    United Russia, the ruling party led by former president and current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, is battling its lowest-ever poll numbers heading into a parliamentary election on Sunday.

    Recent public events have echoed the polls: A party deputy was recently heckled at a music concert, and Putin himself was booed at a boxing match.

    But many party members are not yet ready to say the winds are changing. Dmitry Polikanov, a member of parliament, told Al Jazeera he believed the party would win 56 to 58 per cent of the vote.

    The party has also bent campaign rules to boost its support, running a huge advertising scheme that appears nearly identical to state-run posters urging citizens to vote.

    Meanwhile, opposition figures lamenting Russia's sense of malaise and its "ruined" industry and agriculture await a changing of the guard.

    Al Jazeera's Robin Forestier-Walker reports from Moscow.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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