(were interviewed 1.503 persons aged 18 and over, margin of error doesn’t exceed 0.03)

  • Stabilization of the “economic feeling” of Belarusians continued slowly in the third quarter, too: in comparison with June, the number of those whose financial standing became worse for the last three months has decreased by 7% (25% vs. 31.9%, in December there were almost 60% of such respondents). The number of those who think that Belarusian economy is in crisis has gone down by the same percent (64.1% vs. 71.4%, in December – 81.5%). The number of those who think that “in general the state of affairs in our country is developing in the right direction” has somewhat grown (34.1% vs. 32.4%, in December – 25.6%). However, on the whole the positive “economic feeling” still falls considerably behind the negative one: if 14.7% marked an improvement of their financial standing for the third quarter, 25% mentioned its worsening; 25.8% do not think that our economy is in crisis, and 64.1% agree with it; finally, 34.1% agree that “the state of affairs in our country is developing in the right direction”, and 47.4% do not agree with it. Such “creeping stabilization” puts in doubt the future well-being in the eyes of many Belarusians: 27.8% of respondents suppose that “the socio-economic situation in Belarus is going to become worse within the next few years”, and only 18.4% – that it is going to improve (in June 21.4% expected an improvement). As seen, the uncertainty of the economic stabilization which many experts are talking about is felt by millions of our fellow citizens, too.

  • The uncertainty inevitably tells upon the attitude of Belarusians towards authorities. Although the majority still pin their hopes on the help of the state and not on themselves (when answering the question: “What principle of relations between the state and its citizens would you personally support?” 62.7% of respondents said “the state should take more care of people” and only 22.7% believed that “people should display the initiative and take care of themselves”), the way they interpret the notion of a strong state is already changing. Thus, 43.3% answered the question: “Do you agree that a strong leader can give more to the country today than good laws?” in the affirmative, and 49.1% – in the negative. The actual “stabilization” of rating of the head of state also testifies to the fact: in spite of the registered improvement of the “economic feeling”, in comparison with June A. Lukashenko’s rating has grown from 29.7% up to 31.6%, i.e. within the range of a sampling error (let us remind the reader that in March it made up 34.5%). As it has been already mentioned more than once in our analytical materials, “the feeling of the authorities’ unfairness” is being added to “the economic anxieties” – millions of Belarusians receive grievance from the state instead of protection: a third of respondents said they had been offended by representatives of regulatory bodies for the last three years.

  • However, the majority among them are not ready to openly express their dissatisfaction. The real results of September parliamentary elections conspicuously testify to the fact. First of all, regardless of numerous declarations and evidence of the opposition representatives, they were valid: 17.4% of respondents had voted early (on September 18-22), and 49% – on September 23. Only 9.6% answered they had boycotted the elections, and another 24% said they had not participated in voting due to other reasons. Knowing how supporters of the boycott will treat the data, we for once are giving a table in the press release that unravels “the electoral mystery of the turnout”:

The vote returns in the elections into the House of Representatives in September 2012, %


Minsk (19,4)

Regional centers (18,1)

Cities (19,3)

Towns (16,8)

Villages (25,7)

Voted early on September 18-22 (17,4)*






Voted on September 23 (49,0)






Voted altogether (66,4)






Boycotted the elections (9,6)






Did not participate in voting due to other reasons (24,0)






Did not participate in voting altogether (33,6)






* In brackets the results for the whole poll are shown

  • As seen, the turnout exceeded the 50% threshold owing to the electors living in towns and villages, as well as in regional centers and cities, where 80% of the Belarusian electorate lives. The declarations that “if the elections are valid” it happened, first of all, due to the early voting where “the greatest part of rigging occurred” do not reflect the actual situation, either. In reality, only a little bit more than a quarter of all electors voted early – even less than in the previous parliamentary elections (at that time 24% voted early, and on September 28, 2008 – 41.1%). At that, only 2.2% said they “had been forced to do it”, and 15.2% had done it “on their own initiative”.
    Secondly, 47.5% of respondents considered the parliamentary elections “free and just”, and 27% did not agree with it (the ratio was virtually the same in September, 2008: 48.7% vs. 27.1%). 27.2% agreed that “rigging was present during the elections”, and 41.7% – did not (26.5% vs. 44.1% in 2008). When answering the question: “Do you think the voting results announced by the Central Election Committee are real voting results or rigged ones?” 18.3% answered “definitely real”, 37.3% – “more likely real”, 18.1% – “more likely rigged”, and 10.2% – “definitely rigged” (in 2008 – 19.8%, 30%, 17.2%, and 9.3% respectively).
    At the same time, the growing discontent with the authorities became apparent in the fact that during four years the ratio of those who voted for a candidate supporting the president, an independent candidate and a supporter of the opposition has considerably changed not in favor of the authorities: 22.6% vs. 19.8% vs. 7.3% (in 2008 – 30.8% vs. 16.4% vs. 4.9%). However, the majority of Belarusians still do not know the last name of the deputy elected from their electoral constituency: 41.1% know it, and 57.1% do not (in 2008 – 45.1% vs. 52.5%).
    Thus, the elections are valid, but their results do not meet the expectations of considerable part of society, and do not trouble the majority very much. Millions of Belarusians had not expected any serious changes in their lives from the elections before they were held, and do not expect them after the elections.

  • The unstable “economic feeling” and gradual “erosion” of the attitude to the authorities tell on the instability of foreign-policy orientations of Belarusians. If in June when it was necessary to choose between integration with Russia and entering the European Union 43.6% declared for the first option, and 39.8% – for the second one, today the ratio has become reverse: 36.2% vs. 44.1%. Perhaps, Russian support thanks to which economic stabilization began since the end of the previous year, has started to trigger questions by the “mass Belarusian”. Thus the decision of the Belarusian government to sell their share of the gas transport enterprise “Beltransgaz”, that had completely become the property of the Russian gas concern “Gazprom” was assessed positively only by 10% of respondents, almost 30% assessed it negatively, but “Belarus did not have another way out”, and 43.3% said directly that “Beltransgaz” should not have been sold”. Only 7.6% answered the question: “Negotiations for selling the Belarusian complex “Belaruskali” mining potash to a Russian investor have been conducted for a long time already. What is your attitude to the possible selling transaction?” in the affirmative, 17.5% – “negatively, but only if the price is really high”, and 58.7% said “negatively, as “Belaruskali” should not be sold even for all the money in the world”. So far it is difficult to say whether this opinion reflects the national interest of Belarusians or is only a consequence of the current official propaganda – a proper monitoring is required for the purpose.
    At the same time, to talk about a new “turn to Europe” is premature, to put it mildly. Thus, assessing the much-talked-of in summer “plush landing force” from Sweden to Belarus 23% of respondents called it “a brave protest against violation of human rights”, 13.8% considered it “a provocation of western intelligence agencies”, 31.7% – “a stupid act”, and the same number of people “did not know what it was all about”. Answering the question, who was responsible for the conflict 21% named “Swedish authorities”, 16.1% – “Belarusian authorities”, 30.1% – “both parties to the same extent” (31.8% “do not know what it is all about”). It is obvious, that the response of the “mass Belarusian” to the event is in a marked contrast to the response of the political by-net. Only 20.9% know or heard something about the beginning of a new program of the European Union “A dialogue about modernization of Belarus”; however, 40.3% think that “Belarus needs such a program” (18.2% said ‘no’, and 41.5% found it difficult to answer). In other words, if the attitude to Russia (from friendship to resentment) is built on the basis of one’s own experience by the majority of Belarusians, then to Europe (from hopes to apprehension) it is more likely built based on accessible information and stereotypes.