In Komsomolskaya Pravda, Andrei Ryabtsev notes a close correlation between average housing prices and Navalny’s vote share in Moscow’s districts – and tries to find out why that might be the case.
Why did they vote for Navalny in the centre, and for Sobyanin in the dormitory suburbs?
The election results for Moscow’s mayor have at the same time given rise to some inquiring social-research: Where were all the protest votes concentrated?
The Moscow Election Commission has some very significant figures. It turns out that Navalny was the candidate of the respectable centre, of the prestigious Leningrad District and not of the downmarket Southwest; Sobyanin was the choice of the dormitory areas. Take, for example, the Central Administrative District. In the Arbat Precinct: for Navalny – 35.63 %; for Sobyanin – 43.53 %. Or take Basmanny: 36.1 % – for Navalny , 41.56 % – for Sobyanin. And Zamoskvorech’e: 35.41 % – for Navalny; 42.13 % – for Sobyanin. It was almost the same thing at Meshchansky, Presnensky, Tversky, Yakimanka…
However, let’s just move a little in an easterly direction, to Lefortovo, and – oop-la! It’s 51.58 % for Sobyanin, and for Navalny – 26.9%. No mention of a second round taking place there. And then we have Sokolniki, where on the eve of the election Navalny attracted perhaps the biggest mass meeting of voters: for Sobyanin – 44.06 %; for Navalny – 30.68%. It was about the same in Kuntsevo, Krylatsky, and Dorogomilovo.
If Sobyanin had not got a 50 % vote in other areas, a second round would have been unavoidable. In the residential outskirts, however, they think and vote absolutely differently to the way they do in the centre. The differences are approximately the same as those between Moscow and the rest of Russia: in a Moscow suburban district (read – Kapotnya), government candidates are more trusted than they are in spoiled and capricious downtown Moscow (read – at elite Kutuzovsky). Here, at Novo-Peredelkino, Ochakovo- Matveyevskoye; at Solntsevo and Beskudnikovo; at East and West Degunino; at both Butovo and the rest – at Bibirevo and North Medvedkovo, Sobyanin confidently stepped over the 50 % mark, gaining up to 55% of the votes.
Surprisingly, the Moscow election map almost completely coincides with a map drawn by realtors, taking as its yardstick the cost per square metre of an apartment: where the more expensive it is, the vote percentage gained by the opposition candidate was higher, and vice versa. Why?
- “Because for Navalny voted mostly representatives of the upper middle class, the rich”, says Olga Kryshtanovskaya, department head for the study of elites at the Institute of Sociology. “However, these people are not members of the ruling elite, but rather those of the liberal professions: intellectuals, professionals with a higher education. “Remember how the protest movement was jokingly called ‘the fur coat revolution?’
- “But, these people have something to lose in the event of political upheavals: there’s the paradox.”
- “I think they are hardly likely to envisage Navalny’s coming to power… Generally speaking, the liberal idea is primarily aimed at protecting the interests of the wealthy: to allow businesses to do business without being hindered by social programmes; to have courts that protect property and so on. Navalny is the candidate of the bourgeoisie.”
Sergei Sobyanin scored 69.48 % in the Novomoskovsky administrative district: Sobyanin’s minimum result was 37.3 % in the Gagarin district.
Alexei Navalny scored 38.53 % in that same Gagarin district. The least of all votes, 14.83%, were given for Navalny in the Nekrasovka district.