Grounded in the main theoretical approaches to the study of electoral volatility, this article examines cross-regional variations in the levels of volatility for United Russia (UR) in Duma elections over the period 2003–2016, which are juxtaposed with the level of volatility for the Kremlin’s candidates in presidential elections. The main finding is that ‘regime type’ or, more precisely, ‘authoritarianism’ is the key explanatory variable. Stronger authoritarian rulers are able to control regional elites and ensure the best results for UR by exerting administrative pressure on voters. This reduces the level of volatility in support for UR. At the same time, economic and institutional explanations have a partial significance. Here, Duma elections differ from presidential elections, which demonstrate a much lower degree of volatility; in addition, economic factors appear insignificant.
- United Russia
- cross-regional variations