The analysis of the major political parties and blocs’ lists of candidates for participation in the elections to the State Duma in single-mandate districts.

By Alexandre Strokanov, Ph.D.,
Professor of History at Gardner-Webb University, North Carolina, USA

Base of Analysis

The following portion of this article focuses on the analysis of those constituents nominated by the major parties and electoral blocs for participation in the elections in single-mandate districts.

The current Russian Law on Elections to the State Duma allows two methods of election for a Deputy of the Lower House of the Russian Federal Assembly. First, through a candidate’s nomination on party lists, so-called representative quotes (225 deputies). Second, by the candidate receiving more votes than any other in a single-mandate district (also 225 deputies).

The Russian political parties and electoral blocs utilize both methods to secure positions for their candidates and, therefore, submit to the Central Election Commission (CEC) two different types of the lists. The first list presents a Federal list of their candidates. (This type of list was addressed in the first part of this article.)

The parties and blocs have to research also the issue of participation in the elections in single-mandate districts and define where in those districts they have situated their official candidates. The second list contains information similar to the first in regards to the candidates’ ages, educations, occupations, and places of residence. This list is structured in accordance with the lists of the single-mandate districts (1-225). Therefore, it differs from the first list which is structured according to the preferences of the parties and blocs. The information that can be learned from this list is also more specific due to the fact that the people running in the elections in single-mandate districts are more serious about their desire to work in the State Duma.

As previously stated, the first list has, lets call them, “wedding generals” who are included to attract voters, but who will not necessarily work in the State Duma. These extra nominations are the reason that the first list has more candidates than any party would actually expect to receive seats in the State Duma. This is especially true of lists of the “parties of power”: OVR, NDR, and the Medved’. These three obviously manipulated this method of attracting voters to a greater degree than the others.

There are two other important aspects of the elections that aid in the analysis and understanding of the single-mandate lists. The first is the location where the parties and blocs wish their candidate to be elected. In other words, where have they assigned those nominees who are actually capable of running in the elections and where they expect to receive support from the voters.

The second aspect is where the parties and blocs are going to compete and avoid competition among themselves when they appeal to the same group of the Russian electorate.

This is why an analysis of these types of lists is of special interest to scholars and other specialists in elections.

This article will present an analysis of the lists of the same major parties and blocs as were presented in the first analysis: KPRF, SPS, the Yabloko, the Medved’, OVR, NDR. Additionally, several aspects of this analysis will include various other lists which will be identified as they are presented. The lists of candidates used in this article were received from the web site of the CEC.

Aspects of representability and choice of district.

Most of the parties and blocs submitted candidate lists that cover half or almost half of the country’s districts. The following list shows the number of districts each of the parties and blocs assigned candidates to:

KPRF- 140
Yabloko- 135
NDR- 133
OVR- 118
SPS- 108
The Medved’ - 41

The only bloc which does not cover a significantly large area of territory is Medved’, which includes only candidates from 41 districts (18.2%). This difference is understandable though, remembering the manner and time-frame in which this bloc was formed.

A surprising number of names was submitted by bloc “Dukhovnoe Nasledie” - “Spiritual Heritage” (DN) that split-off of KPRF. It has a candidate in each of the 225 districts. There is no other party or electoral bloc that can claim the same record according to the information provided by the CEC web site.

It is also interesting to note the number of people whose names appear on both the lists of the parties and blocs (Federal lists as well as in the single mandate districts lists). These candidates will have not just one, but two chances to become a Deputy of the State Duma. This data probably best reflects the parties’ or blocs’ preferences regarding exactly whom they want to see elected to the Russian Legislature and who are from their Federal lists also capable to stand elections in the single-mandate districts. KPRF’s lists have 61 such candidates, SPS- 51, the Yabloko- 65, the Medved’- 21, NDR-52, and OVR-28.

The unequal distribution of candidates from the major parties and blocs is going to cause serious competition. There could be at least five candidates from six of the individual lists in 27 of the single-mandate districts. Four candidates from these parties and blocs may have to compete in 56 districts. There is also a possibility that only two candidates from these lists will compete in 54 districts and there is going to be only one representative in 24 of the districts. Moreover, there is no representative from the lists of major parties and blocs presented for 5 districts. Those districts are: #18 in Marii El Republic, #29 in Udmurt Republic, #31 in Chechen Republic, #36 in Altaysky Kraii, Rubtsovskii, and #142 in Rostovskaya oblast, Belokalitvinsky district. Of course, we shouldn’t forget also that in all districts expected to participate an independent candidates, not affiliated with any political party or electoral bloc.

It is also important to see how two major parties or blocs many compete within the same districts, such as, SPS and the Yabloko, NDR and OVR, and finally OVR and KPRF, who appeal to similar electorates in their campaigns.

The lists show that the candidate’s of SPS and Yabloko may compete in 61 of the single-mandate districts (which is respectively 56.5% and 45.2% of their lists). The representatives of NDR and OVR (respectively 54.1% and 61% of their lists) could be on the same ballot in 72 districts. Finally, OVR and KPRF candidates (respectively 76.8% and 57.1% of their representatives) may face each other in 80 districts.

This situation looks most favorable on the candidates of the Yabloko, who have their own electorate, and only 45 percent of their candidates could potentially find themselves competing with people from SPS who are of a similar age group, occupation and political orientation. In the same light, the NDR and OVR candidates will face the most difficulties.

Age of the candidates.

As well as in their Federal lists, the parties and blocs have people of different ages among their single-mandate candidates. But the average age, described in the first part of this article, was not changed significantly after the analysis of the second list of candidates. This confirms the previous statement regarding age characteristics of membership and the electorate of these parties and blocs.

Below are the average age results of the analysis of the second type of lists. (In parentheses is the data from the Federal List.)

KPRF- 51.4 (51.1)
NDR- 48.9 (50)
OVR- 47.4 (47.5)
Medved’- 45.8 (44)
Yabloko- 44.8 (44)
SPS- 44.3 (45.6)


For the most part, the candidates’ education levels follow the pattern of the Federal lists. The lists of parties and blocs have the following percentages of candidates with higher education or a university diploma. (In parenthesis is the data from the Federal lists.)

KPRF- 95 (95.5)
NDR- 99.2 (98)
OVR- 99.1 (99.6)
Medved’- 95.1 (94.4)
Yabloko- 97 (97.1)
SPS- 95.4 (95.8)


The percentage of female representatives on the second list is only slightly higher than that of the Federal list. The only exception to that statement is in the case of the NDR who’s percentage of females actually dropped in the single-mandate list comparing to the Federal list.

The SPS again holds the leading position with 18.5 percent (15.7% in the Federal list.) Surprisingly, the second position is held by the OVR-15.3% (which held only 9.6% in the Federal list.) The remaining parties and blocs have the following female representation percentages. (In parenthesis is the data from the Federal lists.)

KPRF- 12.9% (10.8%)
Yabloko- 12.6% (12%)
Medved’-12.2% (10.4%)
NDR- 8.3% (10.2%)

It will be interesting to compare this data with the results of the elections and to see how many women will come to the State Duma through the Federal lists and how many of them will be elected in single-mandate districts. It is also possible to conclude from this data that women are more active in these organizations on local level than on central..

Party membership

In the second lists, party membership appears very much the same as it did in the Federal lists. KPRF is the leader with 121 candidates (86.4% of its list) who are members of KPRF, and five (3.6%) who are members of Agrarian Party. In the Federal lists, these percentages were respectively 78% and 6.7% .

The Yabloko holds the second position with 60.8% of its candidates as party members. In Yabloko’s Federal list, party membership was represented in 73.2% of its candidates.

The lists of SPS and OVR have representation from a number of political organizations. SPS’s list has 53 candidates (49% of the list) whose party affiliation was mentioned while this bloc had 51.4% of such candidates in the Federal list.

The situation with OVR list is different. On the Federal list, 62.1% of its candidates were mentioned with their affiliation to different political organizations. Its single-mandate list indicated only 25.3% of its candidate’s affiliating with political organizations. It is possible to assume that if its Federal list was dominated by people from different organizations allied with “Otechestvo”-“Fatherland,” the single-mandate list was probably formed by people from the Alliance “Vsya Rossiya”-“All Russia”.

The single-mandate list of NDR portrays the same picture as their Federal list. There are only four candidates from 133 whose party affiliation was listed, so 96.9% of the candidates have no party membership (92.9% in the Federal list).

The Territorial Aspect

Three of the single-mandate lists actually have a lower percentage of candidates who reside permanently in Moscow and St. Petersburg (and their respective regions: Moskovskaya, Leningradskaya oblasts.) One of these lists belongs to KPRF, where the percentage of candidate residents of these areas has dropped from 30.3% on the Federal list to 27.1% on the single-mandate list. The other two lists belong to: the Yabloko (which declined from 34.2% to 28.9%) and the OVR (which declined from 41.4% to 34.8%). This data obviously reflects the ability of these three organizations to recruit people of the provinces who actually share the platforms of these parties and blocs.

Meanwhile, the three other lists increased their representation from the capital areas. SPS’s single-mandate list now has 34.2% (only 27.8% in the Federal list.) The Medved’ added 4.5%, resulting in 46.3% of their candidates coming from the capital areas. At the same time, the most dramatic change occurred in NDR’s list, where the percentage of people from the capital areas jumped from 16% to 31.5%. An explanation for this phenomenon may be in the fact that the NDR’s Federal list had too many “wedding generals” from provinces who looked nice on the list, but had absolutely no desire to run for a seat in the State Duma. Because of the powerful positions they hold in the provinces their role as candidates was only to lure the voters of their provinces to NDR’s Federal list.


Occupational Aspects

The following table provides information on the various occupations of candidates on the single-mandate lists of parties and blocs.








Deputies of the State Duma

77 (55%)

2 (1.9%)


11 (9.3%)


2 (4.9%)

Assistants of the Deputy of Duma, State Duma Personnel

5 (3.6%)


11 (8.1%)

4 (3.4%)

3 (2.3%)


Members of Regional Legislative Bodies

10 (7.1%)

6 (5.6%)



16 (12%)


Employed in State executive organs different levels.

6 (4.3%)

5 (4.6%)

9 (6.7%)


20 (15%)

6 (14.6%)

Private sector of economy

16 (11.4%)

38 (35.2%)

32 (25.9%)

45 (38.1%)

37 (27.8%)

10 (24.4%)

Employed in academia (Universities and research centers)

12 (8.6%)


12 (8.9%)


11 (8.3%)

1 (2.4%)


2 (1.4%)


10 (7.4%)

1 (0.8%)

2 (1.5%)

2 (4.9%)

Party officials





4 (3%)

2 (4.9%)

Professional union officials

1 (0.7%)


3 (2.2%)

2 (1.7%)


1 (2.4%)


1 (0.7%)

2 (1.9%)





Medical Doctors

1 (0.7%)

1 (0.9%)

3 (2.2%)

1 (0.8%)

4 (3%)

3 (7.3%)


1 (0.7%)





1 (2.4%)



1 (0.9%)

3 (2.2%)

1 (0.8%)

1 (0.8%)


Brief summaries of each list that has been analyzed.


Of KPRF’s 140 candidates, more than a half of them (77 names or 55% of the list) are current Deputies of the State Duma and five (3.6%) are assistants of Deputies or people who work as State Duma personnel. There are also 10 members of regional and local legislative bodies.

Among the remaining categories are people employed in private (16 candidates or 11.4%) and state sectors (5 or 3.6%) of the Russian economy, 12 candidates (8.6%) who work for universities or research centers, and 6 candidates (4.3%) who have different positions in regional and local (city or county) level executive power. There are also two journalists, a medical doctor, a teacher, a pensioner, a farmer, and an actor.


SPS’s list has only 108 names. Out of the 108, those who are affiliated with political organizations are as follows:

Other organizations are represented by only one or two candidates.

The geographic aspects of the list are not really impressive. SPS’s list is the smallest among the major political contenders in the elections (with exception of the list of the Medved’). SPS has local candidates in only 80 provincial districts.

Its list has two current Deputies of the State Duma and six deputies of the regional and municipal legislative bodies. Most of their candidates come from private sector of the economy- 38 (35.2% of the list.) Slightly more than twenty percent (20.3%) have occupations associated with parties and other public organizations.

Journalists and individuals from the field of academia come next with 14 candidates (13%) from each group. There are five (4.6%) people who are employed in different structures of the executive power. Among them are a representative of the President of Russia in the Omskaya oblast, a deputy head of the administration of Smolenskaya oblast who runs as a resident of the district, and a deputy-minister of the Ministry on Affairs of the Federation and Nationalities of the Russian Federation who runs in Krasnoyarskii krai, Kanskii district # 47.

Consequently, SPS’s list of single-mandate candidates (in most of its criteria) repeats its Federal list. It also stresses the fact that this bloc primarily relies on support from the younger generation of Russian businessmen, journalists, professors, and researchers, as well as, members of parties and different public organizations apparatuses.


Of NDR’s list of 133 candidates, 91 of them reside in their own districts, which are located outside of the four central areas of the Russian Federation. There are 31 Deputies of the current State Duma (23.3% of the list.) Another 16 candidates (12 %) are members of regional and local legislative bodies, including three deputy-chairmen of regional legislature in Kamchatskaya, Sakhalinskaya oblasts and the chairman of the legislative chamber in Komi-Permyatsky okrug.

The candidates employed in private sector of the Russian economy have 37 positions in the list (27.8%). Of course, it is not a surprise that more than 21% of them (8 candidates) come from different positions in oil-gas industry.

Another significant category of candidates (20 names or 15% of the list) currently enjoy executive power positions. Almost half of them (9 candidates) work as heads or deputy heads of administration in cities and counties and two have positions as ministers in republican administrations.

Eleven candidates (8.3%) from this bloc came from the universities and research centers. Six of them are rectors or pro-rectors of higher education institutions. There are also four medical doctors, two journalists, and two military men on this list.


OVR’s list has 118 candidates for the single-mandate elections. The major factor from this list (comparing it with the Federal list of this bloc) is the fewer number of representatives from “Otechestvo” - “Fatherland” and its associated organizations. There are only nine (7.6%) OVR candidates who were listed as members of “Otechestvo” and seven listed as members of the “Regiony Rossii” - “Regions of Russia” (RR.)

At the same time, the “Agrarnaya Partiya Rossi”- “Agrarian Party of Russia” (APR), with 12 candidates (10.2%), outnumbered representatives from any other political organization with fixed membership on this list. The actual division of APR into two parts, one united with KPRF and another with OVR, may bring to this party more seats than they have in the current State Duma.

In respect to occupation of candidates, the single-mandate list from OVR resembles their Federal list. There are 11 Deputies of the current State Duma (9.3%.) The largest share of candidates comes from business occupations - 47 or almost 40%. It is remarkable to note that one third of them work in agricultural enterprises or food processing businesses while the energy sector is represented by only four candidates.

The executive branch of regional power has 16 candidates or (13.6 %.) Among them there are four local (city or county) level administrators and three deputy heads of regional administrations (Voronezhskaya, Irkutskaya, Novosibirskaya oblasts).

The group of deputies from the regional legislative bodies has 14 members on the list, including the head of the regional Duma in Kostromskaya oblasts and the vice-chairman of the regional legislature in Nizhegorodskaya oblast.

The next group of 14 candidates on the list (11.9%) work for universities and research centers. Again, six of them have positions as rectors and one is the director of the research institute. There are also two candidates employed by professional unions, one journalist, one medical doctor, and one member of the military.

The OVR’s list of candidates in single-mandate districts, excluding the “wedding generals” presented in the Federal list, better reflects the areas where from the bloc actually has selected its candidates.

The Medved’.

Though the last number on Medved’s list (published by the CEC) was 42, the Medved’ really has only 41 candidates (there was a mistake in the list). This shows that this bloc obviously was a political improvisation by the Kremlin.

The list has four names of candidates affiliated with little known political or public organizations, such as “Lesa Rossii” - “Forests of Russia”, “Blagodenstvie”-“Goodwill”, “Rossiiskaya Christiansko-Demokraticheskaya Partiya” - “Russian Christian-Democratic Party”, and “Vserossiiskii Soyuz Narodnykh Domov” - “All-Russian Union of People’s Houses”. Party affiliation of the rest of candidates was not listed.

Another aspect of this list is a representation of people from the four capital areas. There are only 19 candidates who reside in their own districts, including seven capital districts, primarily located in Moskovskaya and Leningradskaya oblasts. At the same time, the bloc has no candidates listed in the districts of Moscow and only one for St. Petersburg. In other words, this bloc’s approach is to send people from the capital areas to compete where they do not live, and yet want to represent locals on the State Duma. It is highly unlikely that this method will work.

There are two Deputies of the current State Duma in the list of the Medved’. A quarter of the list is occupied by people employed in the economy’s private sector. The next three groups of candidates come from the following occupations: those in different levels of executive power - six names (14.6 %), people who work for a variety of foundations and centers - five (12.2 %) , employees of public organizations - four (9.8 %.) There are also three medical doctors (7.3 %) and two journalists (4.9 %.)

The Yabloko.

Yabloko’s list has 135 candidates. Of those 135, 19 (14.1%) are current Deputies of the State Duma. Another 11 candidates (8.1%) are Assistants Deputies and people employed as State Duma personnel. Candidates employed in the private sector of the economy have 32 positions (25.9 %) on the list. The next few groups of candidates reflect other layers of the Russian electorate which are important to the Yabloko: 12 names ( 8.9 %) come from academia (universities and research centers), 10 - journalists (7.4%), six - lawyers (4.4%), and three - medical doctors (2.2%.)


This analysis provides an opportunity to make ten conclusive statements.

1. Many of the parties and bloc’s candidates have high levels of education. More than 95% of candidates from the six major contenders at least have a university diploma. NDR and OVR have the highest percentages of such people, while SPS, Medved’, and KPRF have a slightly lower proportion.

2. Thirty to forty percent of the candidates come from the four capital areas: Moscow, St. Petersburg, and their respective regions Moskovskaya and Leningradskaya oblasts. The actual percentage of candidates from these areas ranges from the lowest which is KPRF - 30.3% in the Federal list and 27.1% in single-mandate districts list, to the highest which is Medved’ (41.8% and 46.3% respectively)

3. The analysis of the candidates’ ages shows that the oldest group is represented by KPRF (51 is the average age.) Next comes NDR and OVR, while Medved’, Yabloko, and SPS lists have an average candidate age of 44 - 45. It is possible to suggest that there is a developing generational difference in political preferences, but it may be too early to guarantee that this is true.

4. According to the gender analysis, the percentage of female candidates ranges from the highest, which is SPS (15.7% and 18.5%) to the lowest, NDR (10.2% and 8.3%). If the average proportion (10% to 12%) actually represents the results of the elections, Russian women will outnumber American females in the US House of Representatives.

5. The importance of political parties in Russian elections is obviously growing. Meanwhile, Russia still only has three or four real parties with clear membership and significant influence in the country’s politics. They are KPRF, Yabloko, APR, and possibly LDPR. But continuation of LDPR’s status is dependent on its performance in the coming elections. In addition, such alliances as NDR, Otechestvo, and SPS have the opportunity to become permanent and serious political actors, but their future is still uncertain.

6. As indicated earlier this year by various politicians, the fate of these elections depends on the response of the regions. This idea developed from the results of recent polls which showed that the Russian trust regional governors and legislators more than politicians on the Federal level. Consequently, the parties tried to recruit regional leaders to their lists would attract the voters and help them succeed in the elections. OVR and NDR were the parties who reaped the most benefit from this electoral tactic.

7. In respect to the candidates’ occupational fields, two groups of parties emerged with similar categories of employment. (Note highlighted figures on table.) SPS and Yabloko have representatives from the private sector of economy, academia, journalists, and personnel of parties and public organizations. The other couple, NDR and OVR, have the largest area of representation in the private sector of the economy. The next significant areas of representation come from the regional executive and legislative bodies and academia. In regards to academia, SPS and Yabloko are composed of members from the regular faculty or staff. NDR and OVR primarily rely on the support of senior administrators from institutions and research centers.

8. There will be serious competition between parties and blocs in the proportionate quote and, therefore, it is unlikely that more than five parties will cross the determining threshold of 5%. Those who succeed in this will most likely be KPRF, OVR, Yabloko, and possibly NDR, SPS, and Medved’.

9. The single-mandate competition is going to be even more difficult and unpredictable, than in the Federal district, due to the present one-ballot system of elections. The high concentration of candidates with similar platforms and the plentiful number of independent candidates create a challenging situation. The challenge is that the winner may receive only slight majority of the votes, even exceeding the other candidates by only one vote. To avoid this unpredictability in future, it becomes more and more obvious that a two-ballots system is needed in the single-mandate elections in case no one candidate receives an absolute majority in the first ballot. The second ballot would have only two candidates and whichever one received the most votes would be elected.

10. The final outcome of these elections may present a new situation for the State Duma and well as for Russian politics as a whole. It is possible that the new Duma will no longer be Red or even Pink, but will develop a new color; let’s call it Orange. The point is that this Duma is not going to be predominantly hard-line communist, Russian ethnic nationalist, nor will it be “liberal pro-reform”. Instead, it is possible that it will be the beginning of a new era which will be associated with a style of politicians, who can be compared with French Gaullists or their modern form: Rally for the Republic (RPR) with a Soviet style accent in it.

"Panorama"          Elections-99 on our server          Part I

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