IISEPS News #3

IISEPS News – ISSN 1822-5535 (Printing), ISSN 1822-5543 (ONLINE),
N 3 (77), 2015




The closer elections are, the higher is the rating
Between democracy, dictatorship and chaos
Portrait of an ideal candidate
Why election boycott will not happen
“People should go to elections as if it were a celebration”
Telly vs. fridge
Loyalty in exchange for food
Russian devil is better than European blue sky
Geopolitical background of presidential elections
Belarus and the nuclear war
Comparison of electorates: phenomenon of Korotkevich

Some results of the opinion poll conducted in September-2015


Russian society tired of Ukrainian news
Loyalty in exchange for greatness
Ukraine: no prerequisites for a new maidan
Putin vs. Obama


Dear readers!

In the latest issue of the analytical bulletin “IISEPS News” we offer to your attention materials reflecting the most interesting results of the Institute researches in the third quarter of 2015.
Our researches demonstrate that financial well-being of Belarusians in general became worse again. Thus, the number of those, whose financial standing worsened, increased. Average per capita income (including salaries, pensions, social benefits and other incomes) significantly decreased: from $ 240 in June down to $ 200 in September (a year ago this figure amounted to $ 288). The number of respondents who think that Belarusian economy is in crisis exceeded 75%. Anxiety for the future is not passing away: only every fifth respondent expects that socio-economic situation in the country will improve in the near future, while every third expects a worsening of the situation. Probably, this is the reason why more than half of Belarusians approve of the fact that Russia transferred another credit to Belarus.
Belarusians’ attitude to the state power remains quite skeptical. Indices of trust to almost all of state institutions except the President remain negative. The number of those who think, that political life in Belarus is developing towards democracy, decreased; majority of respondents keep talking about “reinstallation of past Soviet orders” or even about “formation of authoritarianism, dictatorship”. Evaluating the recent law “On battling corruption”, majority of respondents thinks that “it won’t influence the level of corruption” and “the level of corruption will only increase”. Although the number of those who blame Belarusian powers and the President for the crisis significantly decreased, almost half of respondents think that the state of affairs in our country is developing in the wrong direction, while only a third thinks that the direction is right. However, the readiness for changes in society is still quite low.
Attitude to the state power and its opponents is best reflected in the main political event of the year – presidential campaign. Majority of those who expect changes connect these changes to elections. 72.5% of respondents expressed their readiness to vote; only 15.5% support boycott. According to the results of all post-election surveys the turnout was higher than expected, so it makes sense to suppose that the required barrier of 50% of voters will be exceeded in these elections too. Peace and stability turned out to be the biggest problem influencing the choice between the candidates. Electoral rating of the President increased up to 45.7%, trust rating remained at 47%. According to the closed question 17.9% of voters are ready to vote for the candidate from the civil campaign “People’s Referendum” T. Korotkevich, while according to the open question this share amounted to 7.2%.Total electorate of “opposition outside elections” did not exceed 8%. Real results depend on the turnout, and a simple calculation demonstrates that if people who expressed their readiness to vote will actually vote, then 45.7% of votes for A. Lukashenko will turn into 64%, and 17.9% for T. Korotkevich will turn into 25%. Three thirds of respondents believe that the President will be elected in the first ballot; almost 58% of respondents agreed that the results of the elections are predetermined; only 36.4% of respondents think that conditions for all candidates are equal, while almost a half of them disagreed with this. At the same time almost 48% believe that these elections will be free and just, and 35% don’t think so. Half of respondents think that official results of the elections will be trustworthy; one third of respondents believe in the opposite. Answering the question “If you believe that the results of presidential elections would be falsified, how would you react to this?” almost a half of respondents said that they “will accept them because it will be impossible to change them”; more than a quarter of respondents chose the variant “I won’t believe these results and will be very upset, but I won’t take part in mass protests”; and only 10% will “take part in mass protests to try to change these results”.
Isolationist moods still prevail in foreign-policy orientations of Belarusians. The share of “Euro-Belarusians” slightly decreased, while the share of “Belo-Russians” slightly increased. Over 28% of respondents think that people in Belarus treat Western countries with respect or sympathy, 21% – with concern, 15% – with disregard or fear, and 32.8% – without any special feeling. Among the current candidates the most pro-European electorate chooses T. Korotkevich, the most pro-Russian one – A. Lukashenko. The idea of the “Russian World” is regarded positively by 35% of Belarusians, 41% of respondents are indifferent towards it, and 16% are negative. Evaluating the accession of Armenia and Kyrgyzstan to the Eurasian Economic Union in 2015, 55.3% of respondents said that it reinforced the union, expanded the shared market and increased the political weight of the union. 32.6% of respondents think that poor countries were added, and other participants of the union would be obliged to help them. Ukrainian-Russian crisis remains one of the most important factors influencing the changes in foreign-policy orientations of Belarusians. It should be noted that sympathies of the majority of Belarusians are still with Russia. Although the level of support has slightly decreased, majority of Belarusians continue to support Russia in this conflict.
As usual, those readers who are more interested in our figures than in our assessments can analyze the research results on their own. The results are presented as a plain count up according to the main socio-demographic characteristics.
In our “Open Forum” rubric we continue to present the most interesting results of the latest surveys of our col-leagues from neighboring countries.
As usual, your feedback and comments are welcome!