Russia’s pro-Putin party wins parliamentary vote, exit polls show

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The ruling United Russia party, which supports President Vladimir Putin, is on course to win a three-day parliamentary election, initial results and an exit poll showed on Sunday.

With just 9 percent of ballots counted nationwide, the Central Election Commission said United Russia had won 38.57 percent of the vote.

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Separately, an exit poll conducted by INSOMAR and published by Russia's RIA news agency predicted United Russia would win just over 45 percent of the vote.

The party won just over 54 percent of the vote in 2016, the last time a parliamentary election was held. It has since faced a slump in its popularity due to malaise over years of faltering living standards.

Initial results showed the Communist Party finishing in second place with 25.17 percent of the vote, followed by the nationalist LDPR party with 9.6 percent.

Allies of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny had urged Russians to follow his tactical voting strategy, which amounts to supporting the candidate most likely to defeat United Russia in a given electoral district.

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