Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yeltsin Win Predicted in 2nd Round

An authoritative pollster who has defied conventional thinking in recent weeks by giving persistent predictions of victory for Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov in the June presidential election said Tuesday that his latest findings now showed that President Boris Yeltsin would win in the second round.

Nugzar Betaneli, director of the Institute of the Sociology of Parliamentarianism, in an article published in Tuesday's edition of the daily Moskovsky Komsomolets, said a poll carried out among 6,000 respondents across Russia between May 6 and May 10 showed that Zyuganov was still well ahead in the first round, although his lead was dwindling.

According to Betaneli, 42 percent of those actually taking part in the elections would vote for Zyuganov -- as against 45 percent in a poll taken a week earlier -- while 27 percent would vote for Yeltsin, up two points from 25 percent the previous week.

Betaneli put the liberal economist Grigory Yavlinsky in third place with 10 percent and retired General Alexander Lebed fourth with 8 percent, followed by ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky and eye surgeon Svyatoslav Fyodorov with 7 percent and 3 percent respectively.

"Boris Yeltsin will without any doubt go through to the second round and then win," Betaneli wrote. "Because in the second round, not only his own supporters will vote for him, but also the supporters of the other candidates who do not wish to see the Communist leader coming to power."

His statements seemed to contrast with remarks he made last week, when he said it was virtually impossible to give an prognosis about the second round so early, because people were psychologically unprepared to consider the question. Their answers would not necessarily reflect how they would actually vote, he said.

While Betaneli's conclusions about the second round bring him into line with most other pollsters, his poll on the first-round intentions of voters is still at variance with other surveys, almost all of which now show Yeltsin consolidating a distinct lead over Zyuganov.

A poll carried out last week by the CESSI organization for The Moscow Times and CNN television put Yeltsin nearly nine points clear of his main rival, with 27.7 percent to Zyuganov's 19.3 percent. Similarly, a poll carried out by the RAMIR/Gallup organization for NTV, the results of which were made public Sunday, showed Yeltsin leading Zyuganov by 32 percent to 25 percent.

But analysts are unwilling to dismiss Betaneli's findings, pointing to his consistently reliable track record. In particular they cite the parliamentary elections of 1993, when Betaneli and CESSI were virtually alone in predicting the success of Zhirinovsky's Liberal Democratic Party.