Although international observers have called the Russian election manipulated and a victim of ballet stuffing, the United Russia party, the governing party of the country, has seen a drop of 14% in voter approval. Vladimir Putin who is running in the parliamentary election leads the United Russia party. On Sundayâ€™s election, the communists won by about a 20% lead. The socially democratic Just Russia party took 13% and the ultra-nationalist Liberal Democratic party followed with 12%.
Although the United Russia party is not likely to collapse in the near future, this is a step back for Putin and his party. If the United Russia party fails to reach a 7% threshold, he will still have around 53% control over the legislatureâ€™s seats. Over the last couple of elections, the United Russia party increased their percentage and held 70% of the seats during the last election. This gave them the power to change Russiaâ€™s constitution whenever they wanted. However, these days are over.
Putin still holds a 67% approval rating from Russians, but his ratings have been slipping. The highest that he has attained was 87% during December of 2007. This was the month of his last parliamentary election. His disapproval is rising though. It is estimated that about 1 out of 3 Russian disapprove of the way that he runs the government.
This disapproval has sprung over the falling of the oil boom. During the years of 2000-2008, Russian was given disposable income of 10% more than the previous year. Since the global financial crisis, Russiaâ€™s economy has suffered. One of the primary concern for Russians is overspending on government pensions and wage boosts for public sector jobs.
Although it is not official, Putinâ€™s win in next Marchâ€™s election is fairly certain. When he ran before -2000 and 2004- his approval ratings were at 79% and 81%. Even though these approval ratings have slipped for the moment, there is no telling how he will fair against his competitors.