Next Russian legislative election

  (Redirected from 2021 Russian legislative election)

The next legislative election will be held in Russia no later than 19 September 2021 to elect the 450 seats for the 8th convocation of the State Duma, the lower house of the Federal Assembly. Going into the elections, United Russia is the ruling party after winning the 2016 elections with 54.2% of the vote and 343 seats.

Next Russian legislative election

← 2016 On or before 19 September 2021 By 2026 →

All 450 seats to the State Duma
226 seats needed for a majority
Opinion polls
Registered110,311,810 (July 2020)[1]
  Dmitry Medvedev 2016.jpg Gennady Zyuganov (2019-02-20) (cropped).jpg Vladimir Zhirinovsky (cropped, 2018-03-19) (a).jpg
Leader Dmitry Medvedev Gennady Zyuganov Vladimir Zhirinovsky
Party United Russia Communist Party LDPR
Leader since 26 May 2012 14 February 1993 12 April 1991
Leader's seat None No. 1 in Federal List No. 1 in Federal List
Last election 343 seats, 54.2% 42 seats, 13.3% 39 seats, 13.1%
Current seats 340 43 40
Seats needed Steady Increase 183 Increase 186

  Sergey Mironov 2014-05-01 1.jpg
Leader Sergey Mironov Aleksey Zhuravlyov Rifat Shaykhutdinov
Party A Just Russia Rodina Civic Platform
Leader since 27 October 2013 29 September 2012 17 April 2015
Leader's seat No. 1 in Federal List Anna Neftekamsk
Last election 23 seats, 6.2% 1 seat, 1.51% 1 seat, 0.2%
Current seats 23 1 1
Seats needed Increase 203 Increase 225 Increase 225

Incumbent Prime Minister

Mikhail Mishustin

The election day is the third Sunday of the month in which the constitutional term for which the State Duma of the 7th convocation was elected expires. The constitutional term for which the State Duma is elected is calculated from the date of its election. The day of election of the State Duma is the day of voting, as a result of which it was elected in the authorized composition. In case of early dissolution of the State Duma, the President must call a snap election. The election day in this case should be the last Sunday before the day when three months from the date of dissolution of the State Duma elapses.[2] In early March 2020, it was proposed to hold a snap election in September 2020 due to the constitutional reform, however, this idea was abandoned.[3] However, after the amendments came into force, speculation about snap election resumed.


Pension reformEdit

After the 2016 elections, United Russia was the most popular party, its rating ranged from 40% to 55%, while the rating of the main opposition parties (Communist and Liberal Democratic parties) was a little over 10%. The rating of A Just Russia was lower than the 5% threshold required to enter the State Duma.

In June 2018, after Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced a reform to raise the retirement age, the rating of the ruling United Russia party fell sharply and since then has fluctuated at around 34% to 31%. At the same time, the Communist Party's rating has grown and currently ranges from 15% to 18%. The rating of A Just Russia has also increased, but still it remains relatively small and fluctuates at around 5% to 6%. The rating of the Liberal Democratic Party has remained consistent at around 11% to 13%. The ratings of all non-parliamentary parties combined ranges around 9% to 11%, with exact numbers for each party unknown. When the share of people who answered they wouldn't vote and who are unsure are equally distributed among the parties, voter share for United Russia fluctuates around 41%, CPRF around 20%, LDPR around 15%, JR around 8% and other parties around 14%.

Constitutional reform and speculations about snap electionEdit

On 15 January 2020, during his Address to the Federal Assembly, President Vladimir Putin proposed a number of amendments to the Constitution. Some amendments propose to weaken the presidential power and expand the powers of the Parliament. In particular, it is supposed to transfer the powers to form a government to the State Duma. This means that if the amendments are adopted, the next Cabinet will already be formed by the State Duma.[4]

Immediately after Putin's speech, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev resigned along with the entire government. The next day, Mikhail Mishustin was appointed as the new Prime Minister. After that, there were suggestions about the dissolution of the State Duma and holding a snap election after the constitutional reform. At present, the State Duma can only be dissolved if it has refused the President's appointment of a Prime Minister three times in a row or passed a no-confidence motion against the government. According to sources from the Presidential Administration, the Constitution may be amended to allow self-dissolution of the State Duma. A number of political scientists and MPs also hold opinions about the dissolution of the State Duma and holding a snap election.[5][6][7] However, this opinion is not shared by Andrey Klishas, head of the Legal Committee of the Federation Council, who is part of the working group on preparing amendments to the Constitution.[8]

On 10 March 2020, during the second reading of the draft law on amendments to the Constitution, MP Alexander Karelin introduced an amendment on holding a snap election.[9] The amendment gave the State Duma the opportunity to decide once to dissolve itself after the amendments were adopted. Initially, the proposal was supported by a majority of deputies, but due to the fact that there was no consensus on this issue, in particular, the Communist party was against it, President Vladimir Putin urged not to dissolve the State Duma. Karelin then withdrew the amendment.[10][11] If the amendment were passed, snap election would have to be held on 13 or 20 September 2020.[12]

Despite the rejection of the self-dissolution amendment, the legal possibility for holding snap election remained (in the case of a three-time refusal of the State Duma to confirm the Prime Minister or Ministers, or a two-time vote of no confidence in the government). Immediately after the amendments to the Constitution came into force, speculation about possible early elections resumed. In particular, the leader of A Just Russia, Sergey Mironov, allowed early elections to be held, referring to the desire of the country's top leadership.[13] According to analysts, snap election may be held in December 2020 or spring 2021.[14]

Electoral systemEdit

Under current election laws, the State Duma is elected for a term of five years, with parallel voting. Half of the seats (225) are elected by party-list proportional representation with a 5% electoral threshold, with the other half elected in 225 single-member constituencies by first-past-the-post voting.[15]

In the proportional part, candidates can be nominated only by political parties. The lists of parties must include at least 200 and no more than 400 candidates. The list may also include candidates who are not members of the party, but their number should not exceed 50% of the number of candidates on the list. The party list of candidates should be divided into federal and regional parts. The regional part includes regional groups of candidates corresponding to the group of bordering federal subjects. The number of regional groups must be at least 35. No more than ten candidates may be included in the federal part of the list of candidates. The regional parts of the party list should cover the entire territory of Russia.[16]

In the majoritarian part, candidates can be nominated both by political parties and in the order of self-nomination. The political party must provide a list of candidates to the Central Election Commission, and the list must contain the name and number of the constituencies in which each candidate will run. Documents of candidates-self-nominees, unlike candidates from political parties, have to submit applications to District Election Commissions.[17] For registration, the self-nominated candidate must collect at least 3% of the signatures of voters residing in the constituency (or at least 3,000 signatures if the constituency has less than 100,000 voters).[18]

One and the same candidate can be nominated both in the party list and in the single-member constituency, however, in the case of its passage to the State Duma and the party list and in the single-member constituency, he will need to give up one of the places (usually refuse the seat received on the party list, as in this case the party does not lose this seat and simply will give another candidate).

Speculations about changes in the electoral systemEdit

After the pension reform, due to which the rating of the ruling party United Russia fell, rumors began to appear about an upcoming reform of the electoral system, which would allow United Russia to maintain a majority after the elections. Thus, it is assumed that the share of MPs elected by party lists may be reduced from 50% (225 seats) to 25% (112 or 113), and the rest will be elected in single-member constituencies by first-past-the-post voting.[19] Such a system was introduced in three regions for the 2019 regional elections, namely in Khabarovsk Krai and Tula Oblast (in both of the 36 deputies, 12 are elected by party lists and 24 by single-member constituencies) and Mari El Republic (13 - by party lists and 39 - by single-member constituencies). Or, some political scientists suggest that the elections on the party lists may be canceled altogether and all 450 seats will be elected in single-member constituencies.[20] Such an electoral system operates in the Moscow City Duma.


As of September 2020, 42 political parties are registered in Russia.[21] At the same time, parties represented in the State Duma (in this case, the seats must be obtained in the vote on the party list), parties that received more than 3% of the vote (by party list) in the previous elections or are represented at least in one of the regional parliaments (also by party list) are allowed to contest in the elections without collecting signatures. Other parties need to collect signatures to participate in the elections. The official list of parties entitled to participate in the elections without collection of signatures will be announced before the election, but after the 2020 regional elections, there are only 16 such parties.[22][23]

Parties represented in the State DumaEdit

Party Party leader Leader since Leader's seat Ideology 2016 election Current seats
United Russia Dmitry Medvedev 26 May 2012 None National conservatism / Statism / Russian nationalism 54.2%
343 / 450
340 / 450
Communist Party of the Russian Federation Gennady Zyuganov 14 February 1993 No. 1 in Federal List Communism / Marxism–Leninism 13.4%
42 / 450
43 / 450
Liberal Democratic Party of Russia Vladimir Zhirinovsky 12 April 1991 No. 1 in Federal List Russian nationalism / Pan-Slavism 13.2%
39 / 450
40 / 450
A Just Russia Sergey Mironov 27 October 2013 No. 1 in Federal List Socialism of the 21st century / Social democracy / Democratic socialism 6.2%
23 / 450
22 / 450
Rodina Aleksey Zhuravlyov 29 September 2012 Anna Russian nationalism / National conservatism 1.51%
1 / 450
1 / 450
Civic Platform Rifat Shaykhutdinov 17 April 2015 Neftekamsk Economic liberalism / Liberal conservatism 0.2%
1 / 450
1 / 450

Parties represented in the regional parliamentsEdit

Parties represented in regional parliaments, which can also participate in legislative elections without collecting signatures (the list does not include parties already represented in the State Duma).

Party Party leader Leader since Ideology 2016 election
Communists of Russia Maxim Suraykin 22 April 2012 Communism / Marxism–Leninism 2.3%
Yabloko Nikolay Rybakov 15 December 2019 Social liberalism / Pro-Europeanism / Social democracy 2.0%
Russian Party of Pensioners for Social Justice Vladimir Burakov 29 July 2016 Social conservatism 1.8%
Party of Growth Boris Titov 4 July 2016 Liberal conservatism 1.3%
Russian Ecological Party "The Greens" Anatoly Panfilov 6 July 2016 Environmentalism / Centrism / Green politics 0.8%
Patriots of Russia Gennady Semigin 20 April 2005 Social democracy / Democratic socialism / Left-wing nationalism 0.6%
Communist Party of Social Justice Andrey Bogdanov 15 January 2020 Communism DNP
New People Alexey Nechayev 8 August 2020 Progressivism / Communitarism New
For Truth Zakhar Prilepin 1 February 2020 Conservatism New
Green Alternative Ruslan Khvostov 10 March 2020 Green politics / Environmentalism New

Public expression of interestEdit

Existing partiesEdit

  • 2018 presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak has stated that her party will run for State Duma in 2021.[24] On 15 March 2018, Sobchak and Dmitry Gudkov announced the creation of the Party of Changes "on the basis of" the party Civic Initiative.[25] In reality Civic Initiative was simply renamed.[26] The party's activities were suspended for three months in 2019 by the Ministry of Justice because it lacks a chairman.[27]
  • Cossack Party: In December 2018, the Party’s Federal Political Council decided to begin preparations for the 2021 election.[28][29]
  • In July 2020, businessman Roman Putin, a great-nephew of President Vladimir Putin, was elected leader of People Against Corruption party. Immediately after taking office, Putin announced the party's intention to participate in the State Duma election.[30]

New partiesEdit

  • Businessman Sergei Polonsky: In January 2018, announced his intention to create a political party called "For All", with which he intends to participate in the 2021 election.[31] As of October 2020, the party does not yet exist.
  • In June 2019, the organizing committee for the creation of the party "Union of Just Forces of Russia" was formed. It is planned that the party will be registered in January 2019 and will take part in the elections.[32][29]
  • In January 2020, a number of regional politicians have announced the creation of a Federative Party to participate in the 2021 election.[33]
  • In January 2020, former Deputy of the State Duma Roman Khudyakov announced the creation of a party Decent Life, which will participate in the 2021 election.[34]
  • In February 2020, music producer Iosif Prigozhin said that he and his wife, singer Valeriya, plan to create the party "Strong Women", which will participate in the 2021 election.[35]

Electoral alliancesEdit

Some parties announced the creation of electoral alliances to participate in the election. However, the participation of alliances in the elections is not provided for in modern Russian legislation, therefore it is not yet clear how these alliances will participate in the elections.


Party of GrowthEdit

On 19 December 2018, Party of Growth became the first party to launch a campaign when its leader Boris Titov opened the party's "Election 2021" federal headquarters in Miass, Chelyabinsk Oblast.

According to Titov, the party will focus on elections in single-mandate constituencies, not party lists. He said: "Today, no slogans, no 'locomotives'[b 1] we can't win [...] we can't cover the whole of Russia, so it's easier for us to focus on specific constituencies. We need real candidates who will be known on the ground. And the electorate who will know first of all the person, and not even the Party of Growth." The party will nominate about 40 candidates in single-member constituencies.

According to the plan, deputies elected in the course of elections to municipal and regional legislative bodies prior to 2021 should form the election headquarters of the main candidates.[37][38]

On 7 July 2020 a party convention was held in Moscow, at which the party program was approved, and governing bodies were elected. Boris Titov retained the post of party leader, while the posts of co-chairmen of the party were established.[39] In addition to Titov, 9 people became co-chairs: musician Sergey Shnurov, actor Nikolai Fomenko, former Minister of Labor and MP Oksana Dmitriyeva, former MP Sergey Stankevich, economist Yevgeny Kogan, journalist Alexander Lyubimov, businessman Ilya Sachkov, social entrepreneur Ksenia Bezuglova and human rights activist Alexander Huruji.[40]

On 30 September 2020, party leader Boris Titov admitted that the party list will be headed by Sergey Shnurov.[41]

United RussiaEdit

United Russia launched its campaign at the party convention on 23 November 2019. The convention identified priorities and key areas of work that should allow the party to maintain its position as the leading political force in Russia and win the 2021 election.[42] The leader of the party, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that he would head a commission to prepare a new election program for the party.[43] In addition, a project office was established to prepare for the election.[44]

According to Party's General Council Secretary Andrey Turchak, United Russia will fight to preserve its constitutional majority, and intends to win at least 301 seats.[45]

According to sources from the party leadership, United Russia has assessed the work of its Deputies in the State Duma. Based on this assessment, not all of them will be able to run in the upcoming election. It is assumed that about half of the faction will be made up of new deputies.[46]

On 15 January 2020, party leader Dmitry Medvedev resigned from office of the Prime Minister of Russia.[47] New Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin is not a member of United Russia or any other party. At the same time, Dmitry Medvedev remain the party's leader.[48]

In July, Turchak announced the start of preparations for the party’s election program.[49] Party leader Dmitry Medvedev said the new version of the Russian Constitution should be used as the basis for the election program.[50]

On 22 October 2020, it became known that the party leadership has identified the first group of candidates for single-member constituencies. This group includes 71 incumbent MPs, whom the party intends to nominate again in their constituencies. Among this MPs, the party's parliamentary leader Sergey Neverov.[51]


On 14 and 15 December 2019, the party convention was held in Moscow. Elections of the party leadership, including its leader, were held during the convention. Nikolay Rybakov was elected the new leader of the party for the next four years. He said his main goal will be to transform the party for the 2021 election.

Rybakov said: "We'll see Yabloko, where the candidates will be requested to prepare for the election campaign starting from Monday in practice. If you enter an election campaign late people do not have time to learn that there are candidates from Yabloko."[52]

A Just RussiaEdit

On 24 September 2020, election campaign was launched at a meeting of the Presidium of the Central Council of the party. According to the party leader Sergey Mironov, he will carry out general management of the campaign, and the head of the election headquarters will be MP Valery Hartung.[53]

New PeopleEdit

On 21 October 2020, party leader Alexey Nechaev announced that he would lead the party list in the election. According to him, the party intends to nominate more than 200 candidates in single-member constituencies.

According to Nechaev, party expect to get 15-20% of the vote.[54]

Opinion pollsEdit

Opinion polling (WCIOM)


  1. ^ Political technology aimed at increasing the number of voters who vote for the list by attracting a candidate with a high political rating (most often governors and mayors of large cities). After winning, the candidate immediately refuses the position that they have been elected to. The "locomotive" then passes their mandate on to a party member who is usually less known to voters.


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