Acting Moscow Mayor Sobyanin has highest pre-election rating - poll
The overwhelming majority of Muscovites (94 percent) said they were aware of the mayoral election in the city on September 8, and only 6 percent of Moscow residents said it was the first time they had heard of it, sociologists of the All Russian Center for Public Opinion Studies (VTsIOM) said at a press conference on Tuesday.
The results of the center's recent survey also indicate that the number of those who plan to cast their ballots at the election has increased by 5 percent to 49 percent in the past ten days.
Fifty-four percent of respondents said they would vote for acting Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin if the elections were to be held this coming Sunday.
He is followed by opposition activist Alexei Navalny.
The pre-election rating of State Duma First Deputy Speaker Ivan Melnikov, a member of the Communist Party of Russia, has grown from 2 percent to 4 percent in the past ten days.
The pre-election rating of Yabloko liberal party chairman Sergei Mitrokhin has dropped to 2 percent in the past ten days, and the rating of Liberal Democratic Party Supreme Council member Mikhail Degtyaryov remains unchanged at 1 percent.
The number of Muscovites who know of Navalny has grown from 71 percent to 80 percent since the beginning of July. The number of respondents who do not trust him increased from 33 percent to 39 percent, and the number of those who trust him grew from 14 percent to 17 percent.
The VTsIOM survey was conducted in Moscow from July 9 to July 11 and involved 1,200 people. The margin of error was 3.9 percent.
An early election of Moscow's mayor was set for September 8 after President Vladimir Putin accepted Sobyanin's resignation from this post on June 5. Up to 36 people submitted their applications to the Moscow City Election Commission for registration as candidates in the elections.
However, only six of them - Sobyanin, Navalny, Mitrokhin, Degtyaryov, Melnikov and A Just Russia Party chairman Nikolai Levichev - were registered as mayoral candidates.
On July 18, the Leninsky District Court in Kirov found Navalny guilty of embezzling funds owned by the state-run timber company Kirovles and sentenced him to five years in prison.
Navalny was taken into custody in the courtroom, but was subsequently released from Kirov's remand center. His prison sentence has not yet come into force. Last weekend, the opposition activist arrived in Moscow, where he will stay under a travel ban imposed on him by the court.
A law permitting direct mayoral elections in Moscow was adopted in 2012.