Putin party wins under 50% in Russia vote: exit polls
The ruling party of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is set to win Russia's parliamentary election but with less than 50 percent of the vote, exit polls said on Sunday.
United Russia was to win 48.5 percent of the vote, ahead of its nearest rival the Communist Party with 19.8 percent, according to the poll broadcast on state television.
The All-Russian Public Opinion Research Centre (VTsIOM) said the opposition A Just Russia party would gain 12.8 percent and the Liberal Democratic Party 11.4 percent with other parties not polling enough to make parliament.
A second exit poll by the Foundation for Public Opinion (FOM) predicted that United Russia would receive 46 percent and the Communist Party 21 percent, state television said.
If confirmed, the result would be a setback for United Russia and Putin, who is seeking to return to the Kremlin in presidential polls in March next year.
In the last parliamentary elections in 2007, United Russia secured a landslide majority of 64.3 percent and won 315 seats in the State Duma. It is not clear whether United Russia now risks losing its majority in the Duma.
© 2011 AFP