Pollster measures Putin’s dipping popularity for MEP

Slightly less than two-thirds of Latvia’s Russian-speaking population regarded Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions in a positive light during the month of April, according to a public opinion survey conducted at the behest of European Parliament deputy (MEP) Sandra Kalniete’s office (Unity).

As national information agency LETA reported Sunday, the 60.2% favorably disposed respondents among Latvia’s Russian-speakers was 6.2% less than the percentage measured in April last year.

The highest proportion (64.5%) of Putin supporters among the survey respondents was among the 55-74 year-old age group. Among youth aged 18-24 his approval rating was 61.8%. His greatest number of supporters came from Latgale province, where his policies were viewed by 66.8% of Russian-speakers as positive or very positive.

Among Latvian families, 12.1% of respondents regarded Putin’s actions in a favorable light, while 73.6% gave a negative response. Also 12.1% of Latvian respondents were uncertain as to how to rate the Russian president and his policies.

The highest proportion (14.1%) of Latvians supporting Putin were in the age group 35-44 year-olds. Latvians 55-74 years old were 12.7% in favor of Putin, while 25-34 year-olds were 12.4% favorably disposed towards his actions. Housewives comprised the largest favorably-disposed group among Latvian-speakers – 33.8%. Again, Latgale province was where most Latvian-speaking respondents gave positive marks to Putin (28.2%), while in Vidzeme the Russian president got a 20.7% positive response.

Altogether 51.9% of residents of Latvia, regardless of language group, characterized their feelings toward Putin as negative. However 31.5% rated his actions as positive, while 15.5% were unsure how they felt about him.

Compared to the survey conducted in April of 2014, there is a slightly higher percentage of people who viewed Putin in an unfavorable light this year, up from 49.4% last year.

The survey was conducted by the SKDS market research and public opinion center.

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