New Risks of Electoral Sociology (Based on the Results of the Autumn 2013 Elections)
Keywords:electoral sociology, elections, motivation of voters` behavior, analysis of electoral process
The article considers the results of regional and municipal elections held in Autumn 2013 involving evolution of the electoral situation and reasons for the reduction of quality of electoral prediction. The article is based on the Central Election Commission data concerning the results of the September 2013 elections, data of VCIOM opinion polls conducted in Russian regions, and “VCIOM Express” initiative nationwide opinion polls. Special attention was paid to the analysis of the Moscow mayoral elections held on September 8, 2013. The key factors that caused lower quality electoral predictions are as follows: increasing electoral competitiveness, weakening of the administrative electoral mobilization, and fragmentation of political space. The author states that all these factors are especially important in terms of the low turnout, firstly at the municipal elections. This situation resulted in the increased turbulence of the electoral process, decreased participation of the authorities in the preparation and organization of the elections, and the authorities` influence on the final results. Authors believe that in terms of low voter turnout the electoral behavior of certain social groups (protest groups, avant-garde social groups) take on special significance. These tendencies will only be strengthening. New circumstances make sociologists review the approaches towards studying public opinion when preparing and organizing elections, and ensure equal participation of each territorial and social group.