Putin's party fails to acquire Duma majority: exit polls

Last Updated: Sun, Dec 04, 2011 23:40 hrs

Moscow, Dec 5 (IANS) As Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's United Russia party failed Sunday to win a majority in legislative elections as per exit polls, he said the vote reflected 'the real situation in the country'.

Exit polls showed confounding forecasts and confirming waning popular enthusiasm for the country's dominant political organisation, RIA Novosti reported.

United Russia won 46 percent of the vote for seats in the new State Duma, the lower house of parliament, according to the Public Opinion Foundation (FOM), a Kremlin-favoured polling institution, according to exit poll results broadcast on the NTV national television network.

Results from another exit poll conducted by the Russia Public Opinion Research Centre (VTsIOM), also broadcast on Rossiya-24 just after 9.00 p.m. when the last polls closed in the westernmost Russian exclave of Kaliningrad showed United Russia picked up 48.5 percent of the vote.

Both polls put the Communist party in second place, with FOM putting their support at 21 percent and VTsIOM placing it at 19.8 percent.

The first official vote-count results were not expected to be published until later Sunday or early Monday.

But the first indications provided by the exit polls stunned observers of the vote in which the United Russia party, the political organization with which Putin has been closely associated for the past decade, was widely expected to capture a majority of seats in the new State Duma.

With early election results showing his United Russia party suffering significant losses at the polls, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the results of the Sunday's vote in Russia's parliamentary elections were 'optimal' and 'really reflect the situation in the country'.

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