Dmitry Gusev, president of the consulting agency Bakster group:
- Supporters of Putin have shown that they are the majority in the country. The result is very similar to the results of the presidential election in 2018 both in the turnout, which was about 68%, and in those who voted for the amendments, which were 78%. This suggests that the opponents of the amendments, who called either to not vote or to vote against, failed, because there were many amendments, and they were for every social group. And everyone found in them what was important to him. This happened because during the pandemic the focus was on people's health, not money, not business, but health, although the opposite is happening in the world. And the situation with the demolition of monuments in America has affected the high turnout.
Alexey Martynov, Director of the Institute of the Newest States:
- The final figures are announced, and we can say that this is the absolute support by the country's citizens of the presidential amendments to the Constitution. Of the 110 registered voters, 57 million were in favor of these amendments. With a turnout of over 65%, about 20% came out against. Taking into account all those who did not take part against the amendments in the camp, about 25%. Therefore, the conversations of the opponents of the reform that the country is split up are from the category of their fantasies. The elections show that Putin’s majority is nowhere to go, despite the difficult conditions and the coronavirus pandemic.
Petr Kiryan, the Head of the Laboratory for Social Research, Institute of Regional Problems (IRP), Ph.D.
- We see a strong turnout. The reason for this is not agitation, but the format of multi-day voting, especially in small cities and towns. In terms of turnout, this experiment can be called uniquely successful. Whether it will be repeated is a question. Voting took place within the framework of a separate law and a special procedure. The electoral legislation on elections of deputies to the State Duma and elections of governors on a single voting day cannot be changed now for the upcoming elections. But the practice of voting on plebiscite points does work. The CEC will conduct a debriefing on voting in tents and other features, but the idea itself is working. A similar practice exists in Germany, when citizens vote by mail in advance, and this accounts for 5-10% of the vote. Now there will be a lot of talk about the election results: this is 80% by 20%, or 78% by 22%, or as they now say in the opposition camp, 65% versus 35%. With a high turnout, everyone who wanted to express their opinion obviously did it. And even if they talk about the administrative resource, it is obvious that it cannot give radical distortions at a very large turnout. An administrative resource works with the so-called “drying” of turnout and the use of state employees in regional elections. At the current turnout, there is no such number of voters who could come and pump the result substantially, as if there were 40% of the opponents, and 20% became. It's impossible.
In this case, we are not dealing with voting for a person. It is much easier to change your mind or stick to it when voting for a candidate. When voting with a package, it is oriented in favor of the package than against. If we are talking about building a political system for the long term, after 2024 or 2030, this removes the question of the number of terms for one candidate elected for two terms. This issue was previously suspended, now it is resolved. You can argue about personalities and try to project your attitude to the amendment through this, but in the end, they potentially voted for it. The story about the social block is understandable; for citizens not from Moscow or other cities with a population of over one million people, priorities are shifted towards social policy. And of course, mobilization measures were unprecedented. My mailbox was crammed with voting messages, all the newspapers, State services, Mos.ru, they all wrote. And since it was not a vote for candidates, the story of home voting was very preferential. People could call to their home and vote at home. You can relate to this differently, there were sections where the vote was canceled for obvious violations. By the result - this is a continuous vote - you are either for or against. We have no understanding in society that all these amendments are incorrect, or there is one amendment that crosses out all the others.
Anna Fedorova, political scientist:
- The voting results are an absolute victory of the supporters of the amendments. High turnout, high result. The picture is clear. A lengthy vote is a completely different story for people. This is not one day when you need to run to the site. The big advantage was electronic voting. Some voters were waiting for this. In fact, a new model has been set. According to the results, we can say that there are voters who are critical or moderately critical of the authorities, but this package seemed nice to them.
Daria Kislitsyna, Head of the Laboratory for New Technologies at EISI, Candidate of Political Sciences:
- The voting results are superpositive. They exceeded the results of 1993 (voting on amendments to the Constitution, known as a "yes-yes-no-yes" vote- NI). We have turnout - for 65% and support - for 75%. In a general sense, we can say that this is the consolidation of society. Coronavirus contributed to the rise of public solidarity, the strengthening of the volunteer movement, the emergence of various public actions, such as “We Together”, the holding of the Victory Parade - this is a moral victory of citizens over challenges, which focused on supporting the voting. Of course, this is a referendum of confidence in the President. The results are comparable to the March 2018 elections. This shows that citizens support the course of the president.
Alexander Nevzorov, publicist - in the Echo of Moscow program:
- Of course, this is the day of victory for lackeys, obscurantists, religious, priests, thieves and stranglers. Hooray, comrades! We want to congratulate you.
By the way, I want to note that I always had sympathy for lackeys and obscurantists, admired thieves and stranglers, and in general I am the best friend of the priests. And if, according to the feelings of this so-called plebiscite, now those who listen to us have a feeling of irreparable tragedy, absolutely mortal longing and hopelessness, a hunch of tax, police and priest lawlessness, a final strangulation of business, triumph of generalism, coercion to like-mindedness, degradation and isolation , then this is a very true feeling.
This is a completely correct feeling, because the authorities received that broom and ax, which, in general, was lacking. And now she can do absolutely everything she wants.
Moreover, few people noticed that through this preamble, through these amendments to the preamble to the Constitution, both ideology and ideology crawled like a rat - the same one that cannot be under the same Constitution, because a certain set of mandatory ideas about life is and there is an ideology.
Here is the ideology - there is already such a surprise that no one expected to see there. And in these amendments, the strangulation of all possible freedoms is written directly, in black and white, where it is straighter, where it is more crooked from a break with international law, which has always been a thorn in the Kremlin’s backside, preventing you from sitting comfortably, to the ban on thinking and doubting the same World War II.
After all, when the amendment says that we will defend our history, we have in mind the following - this is a purely appeal to the intelligentsia: “Get off with your ridiculous searches for some kind of historical truth. You still won't find her. Shut up and don’t bother fooling people into the way we need, because the myths that we push through provide us with national unity for two whole days of the year”.
That is why the authorities managed to gain such an easy, convincing, deadly victory both over common sense and over the future. The main thing is that now after this plebiscite it is impossible to blame Putin. We see that this is the so-called people in reality, these are its ideals. Yes, yes, they are materialized...
Ivan Bolshakov, head of the expert-analytical department of the Yabloko party:
- I respect those who tried to resist the constitutional coup by voting “against” - everyone expresses a protest as he can and as he sees fit. However, respect does not negate critical debate.
There could be no practical result either during the boycott or during the voting “no”. With plebiscite authoritarianism, there is no other way. It is naive to think that the authorities could write a smaller turnout or a larger percentage of the no position than they originally intended to count. The figures in the Kremlin were determined in advance and repeatedly issued through polls, forecasts and exit polls of the VTsIOM. The opposition could take a moral and strategic position for the future - not to participate in disgrace, if there is not the slightest guarantee for an alternative outcome.
Is there an alternative outcome for a plebiscite on the Anschluss of Austria with Germany, a referendum on the annexation of Crimea to Russia, a referendum on the independence of the DPR, or a referendum on canceling Lukashenko’s presidential terms? Could voters overturn these polls? In those conditions and in those procedures - they couldn’t. Because these are not referenda at all, but political scams. The same as the "all-Russian vote" on the amendment of the constitution. The opposition could say so loudly. Now it will be a little more difficult to say that. And yet - high expectations lead to more disappointment, which we see from the annoyed comments of those who called dissent to the polls.
Stanislav Belkovsky, political scientist:
- For Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin this vote is very important. And since it captures his idea of Russian statehood. The Putin era itself and that paragraph system in the history textbook, which will be devoted to Putin's Russia. Therefore, this is a typical instinct of the owner. Now, if you remember Erich Fromm and his book "To have or to be." There are people to “have” for whom property is very important. And there are people "to be" for whom some ontological parameters are important. What are you like as a person. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is still a typical person - “to have”. Therefore, he thinks that he should stake out a place for himself in the history textbook, this place will remain unchanged. No, of course, it will not remain unchanged. When he leaves power and any new generations critical of this era come, the textbook will be rewritten 127 times. Therefore, all these efforts from this point of view are absolutely pointless. But they continue. And the apparatus works so as to report to the authorities at any cost. First there was an installation, because all the installations, the highest settings for what the results of a plebiscite should be, were recorded on the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) website. Just a month ago, VTsIOM said that, most likely, the turnout would be 55%, and the number of votes for - 60 with a little. That was the setup. Then they decided that this was not enough and, accordingly, the numbers on the VTsIOM website crawled up. We must somehow provide, because officials will be to blame if they do not provide them. And who wants to be guilty. After all, a place in Putin's system of government is fraught with enormous material and other benefits. Nobody wants to lose them...