When Vladimir Putin passed Leonid Brezhnev on 12 September 2017 to become the longest–serving Russian leader since Joseph Stalin, he was fully positioned within the polity and society as Russia’s paramount leader. As a paramount leader, Putin enjoyed the strong – unchallengeable – support of both the governing elite and the mainstream population that ensured he could govern Russia regardless of the official position held. In September 2017, the Russian population and elite were already anticipating the next presidential election, held in March 2018. The electoral outcome was clear, even if the particulars of the candidates running, voter turnout, and margin of Putin’s assumed victory were to be determined. In all public opinion surveys of the period 2014–early 2018, strong majorities of Russians indicated they would vote for Vladimir Putin’s return to a second term of his second presidency (and hence, his fourth term overall).
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- Presidency and Executive
John P Willerton
- Macmillan Education UK
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