These are not only candidate’s personal traits which provide for electoral preferences. Results of sociological surveys demonstrate a close relation between preferences given to this or that candidate and voters’ political viewpoints, their welfare and socio-demographic characteristics.

The February poll as well as previous polls shows that, for example, there are to a greater extent more supporters of the current president among elderly people, village residents, adherents of Russia-Belarus consolidation and among those who want to preserve current situation in the country than within the whole number of the polled. On the contrary, political and social opponents of the above groups – the youth, city residents, EU-oriented Belarusians and adherents of changes – give lesser support to A. Lukashenko and more – to representatives of the opposition than the whole number of the polled in general.

It should be noted that this ratio is asymmetric. Rating of A. Lukashenko among adherents of the values he promotes and implements is incredibly high. At the same time, although his popularity and support among those who share opposite values is by far lower as compared to the whole number of the polled, they are still high and comparable to the support of his opponents.

As it goes from Table 1, supporters of making Belarus a parliamentary republic are more likely to give preference to opposition candidates: their ratings increase more than twofold in this group as compared to their average ratings and A. Lukashenko’s rating drops down to approximately the same rate.

Table 1. Relation between readiness to vote for a presidential candidate and answers to the question “Belarus is the presidential republic. Many people say that it would be better if Belarus were a parliamentary republic where the key role is given to the Parliament and the Prime Minister elected by the people?”*, %

Variant of answer

Ready to vote for:

S. Gaidukevich (4.5)

A. Kozulin (6.4)

А. Lukashenko (58.6)

А. Milinkevich (16.5)

For parliamentary republic (25.6)





For presidential republic (58.1)





* Table is read across

The nature of this ratio is absolutely clear – adherents of the parliamentary republic cannot feel deep sympathy with the ruler whose system of government doesn’t conform to the absolute power of the Parliament as well as to the institute of parliament proper. Yet, as it has turned out, even in this group A. Lukashenko has many supporters – every fifth – and in popularity yields to A. Milinkevich only.

Furthermore, quite illustrative is the relation between electoral preferences and trust to the sources of information – state-run and non-state mass media. (See Table 2).

Table 2. Relation between readiness to vote for a presidential candidate and answers to the question about trust to the mass media*, %

Variant of answer

Ready to vote for:

S. Gaidukevich (4.5)

A. Kozulin (6.4)

А. Lukashenko (58.6)

А. Milinkevich (16.5)

State-run mass media
Trust (57.0)





Don’t trust (34.1)





Non-state mass media
Trust (41.4)





Don’t trust (41.0)





* Table is read across

In Table 2, it is not so much the balance of trust/distrust in favor of the state-run mass media which is noteworthy but rather the asymmetry discovered in Table 1. Opposition candidates complain that they don’t have an opportunity to speak up in the state-run mass media which unanimously support A. Lukashenko. This is why the opposition pins its hopes on independent mass media despite considerable restrictions on their distribution introduced in the beginning of this year. However, as the Table 2 shows, the president has advantage before rivals even among those who trust these independent mass media. Those who don’t trust the state-run media give less support to the head of state yet he yields to A. Milinkevich only in this group as well.

This happens despite the fact that advantage of the president is as well overwhelming on the other side of the range – among both trusting and distrusting the state-run mass media. We cannot deny the role of the mass media in the presidential campaign but the Table 2 shows that this isn’t the key instrument.

In the course of research, we revealed perhaps the only point in which the relation appears absolutely symmetric. (See Table 3).

Table 3. Relation between readiness to vote for a presidential candidate and answers to the question “Do you think A. Lukashenko’s rating has increased or has dropped down since the presidential election of 2001?”*, %

Variant of answer

Ready to vote for:

S. Gaidukevich (4.5)

A. Kozulin (6.4)

А. Lukashenko (58.6)

А. Milinkevich (16.5)

Increased (54.9)





Dropped down (15.2)





Remained the same (24.9)





* Table is read across

Thus, difference between population’s political attitudes and A. Lukashenko’s standpoints don’t provide for the crash of his popularity as much as the faith in reduction of his popularity does. The group of respondents who share this opinion is not big – 15.2%, but A. Lukashenko forfeits to all, even to S. Gaidukevich, within this group.

In the 60-ies, German sociologist E. Noelle-Neumann developed the theory called Spiral of Silence. According to this theory, the opinion about notions and estimates dominating in the society strongly influences people’s private notions and estimates. Data in Table 3 brightly illustrate this. Thus, if people think that, in the opinion of majority, trust to a politician is going down, very few of them will remain loyal to this politician in the teeth of what they think to be public opinion.

We assume that this very political and psychological mechanism conceals the secret of colored revolutions. When a great number of people for these or those reasons come to the conclusion expressed in the slogan of Serbian democrats in 2000 “Gotov je” (he’s dead, he’s cast off), this mass conception turns into an independently implementing forecast. This mechanism works as a snowball absorbing the vacillating. Thus, virtual majority which exists in the heads of population becomes the real majority.