Electoral rating of A. Lukashenko hit a new maximum over 4 years (Table 1). The previous time it was higher (53%) in December 2010 right after the presidential elections. i.e. at the moment of maximal electoral mobilization.
Today there is nothing like this; still mobilization effect is evident. It is difficult for the Belarusian society, as well as for the Russian one, to feel the completeness of life under the circumstances of peace. The maxim “let there will be no more war” doesn’t have a single meaning, as commonly cited. Of course, we are talking about a war which can be watched on TV, conveniently sitting in an armchair with a bottle of beer.
All aforementioned is right for A. Lukashenko’s trust rating as well. It also grew up to a maximal value, narrowly missing the peak recorded in December 2010 (Table 2).
As earlier A. Lukashenko enjoys higher trust among women, seniors and not-educated people in the first place. Sex: men – 44.7%, women – 60.8%. Age: 18-29 years old – 32.8%, 60 years old and older – 78.6%. Education: primary – 84%, higher – 43.5%.
This socio-demographic support is based on the politics with a significant paternalistic inclination. So there should be no surprise that all attempts to improve efficiency of national economy are reduced to purely technical actions, and bureaucracy is responsible for carrying them out.
Let us note, however, that despite the widely-spread opinion A. Lukashenko is not the president of poor people. He enjoys roughly same trust among the Belarusians whose average income per family member does not exceed 1.4 million rubles (60.9%) and among the most financially secured with the income exceeding 4.2 million rubles (54.5%).
The growth of the head of state’s ratings promoted his position in the list of main sources of hope for economic development of Belarus (from 33.8% up to 37.9%) (Table 3). That had dragged the position of the government as well (+5.5 points).
Outside capital, permanent leader of the last years, on the contrary, had somewhat lost its position (-8.1 points). It seems that it fell victim to the anti-West propaganda, thriving on Russian TV-channels. Their activity overrode the positive effect of Belarusian powers’ steps towards the West, which were outlined recently.
It is natural that hopes for the foreign capital are more typical of the opponents of A. Lukashenko (those who don’t trust him) than of his adherents – 55.7% vs. 34.6%. Naturally, for the government the ratio is inverse – 16.0% vs. 43.3%.
Managers of enterprises and farms notably lost their position (-5.6 points). 18.6% of A. Lukashenko’s adherents and only 10% of his opponents pin their hopes on them. Public roasts of enterprise managers, which the head of state perpetuated almost weekly, couldn’t but influence public opinion.
Finishing the analysis of Table 3, we would like to note a slow but steady growth of Belarusian businessmen’ position (+5.1 points). This is an undeniably positive aspect, as this position in the upper part of the list is not due to caprices of propaganda, but due to the successes of their professional activities.
Majority of Belarusians evaluate positively the head of state’s constant visits to enterprises (Table 4). At the same time this positive evaluation may be regarded as a verdict to current economic model of Belarus. What else could it be, if 41.6% of adult population of the country agrees that local managers cannot act without control from the top? Among adherents of A. Lukashenko this point of view is shared by 55.2% of respondents, among his opponents – by 25.1%.
Let us cite a typical comment to a collection of “inspectional” photos of the head of state, found on tut.by: “A responsible man always and everywhere knows what happens in the country! Atta boy! That’s how a PRESIDENT should be! Thrifts about everything, delves into everything! They cannot foul him! If all the government was like that, we would live in clover!”
Such comments, as well as the answers to the question of Table 4, characterize not so much the attitude of society towards the head of state, but the authoritarian nature of society (or at least of its majority).
20 years after the triumphant victory of A. Lukashenko on the first presidential elections majority of Belarusians (55.7%) still think that in 1994 they had made a right choice. Only 29.9% of respondents share the opposite point of view, which is, however, quite a few. This ratio with some slight variations was observed during all presidential elections, which testifies of a stable electoral structure of Belarusian society.
Today in the threshold of the fifth presidential elections there are no reasons to claim that by autumn 2015 the ratio of electoral supporters and opponents of the longstanding head of Belarusian state could change substantially.
Table 5 confirms this. Even two months prior to the voting in 2010, i.e. under the circumstances of strengthening electoral mobilization the share of respondents, agreeing that A. Lukashenko’s resignation from presidency will lead to worsening of their lives, was lower than in September 2014!
Over two decades A. Lukashenko didn’t lose his ability to inspire hope to people. It doesn’t matter that today not everything is as good as it was desired, but changes to the better are possible. 48.9% of respondents pin their hopes for such changes, desirable for themselves, on the head of state. 38.4% of respondents think that these changes are impossible.
Amid the sacred war between local Russian Good and worldwide Evil, staged by Russian TV-channels, emerged the “crimea-is-ours-ism” as a mass mood consolidating atomized society. It is natural the influence of “crimea-is-ours-ism” on Russians is significantly stronger than on Belarusians. Nevertheless, it may be observed in Belarus for three consecutive surveys.