As with most expats, Russians abroad skew younger and more liberal, hence the orange/red throughout the West as well as China (e.g. expat heavy/more lib Shanghai expats vote NO, while more diplomat-dominated & vatnik Beijing and Harbin voted YES). In contrast, many of the f.USSR countries host large pro-Putin Russian majorities, whereas in the rest of the world most voters would be embassy personnel.
Nothing electorally surprising about this as it follows typical pro/anti-Putin voting patterns, which I have covered on this blog.
Even so, the results even from places we can reasonably assume to be Embassy-dominated – such as Pyongyang (60% YES), Brasilia (62%), Islamabad (62%), to take a sample I picked out at random – are all substantially lower than the official 79%. (List via @kireev attached right).
Some further electoral curiosities:
* Antarctica (five Russian research stations) voted 52% YES.
* Students at MIPT (Dolgoprudny) voted 74% NO. (Young, elite level university students – nothing surprising).
* 79% ethnic German village (Omsk oblast) voted 72% NO.
* The user @caunte on Kireev’s block brings up a lot of samples on how workers at various factories voted, seem to have mostly hovered at 55%-60%. These will mostly be middle-aged vatniks, kind of like the collective Uralvagonzavod. As I mentioned, support for the Constitutional amendment was highest amongst pensioners/the elderly, so a “real” count of 65% is perfectly plausible but way short of the official 79%.
This also happens to be the opinion of one of the most frequently cited electoral fraud analysts, Sergey Shpilkin:
Shpilkin previously published statistical evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2011 State Duma elections and the 2018 presidential elections that handed Putin his fourth term.
His calculations of the 2020 constitutional reform vote place the results at 65% approval for the amendments and 35% disapproval, with a 42%-43% turnout.
As I said, the fraud is something that’s one can tell just by eyeballing the turnout/YES vote graphs by regions (see right), some of which are plausibly clean while others are obviously falsified with heavy clusters around the 90%/90% mark. Ethnic Russians dominate the vast majority of regions and they are a relatively homogenous people, it is impossible that voting patterns would vary so cardinally between, say, Murmansk oblast (loosely clustered around 40% turnout/60% YES) and Kemerovo oblast (tightly clustered at close to 90% turnout/90% YES).
Even so, the 1993 Russian Constitutional referendum got 58% YES. 2020 referendum on Constitutional amendment got ~65% of “real votes” So still more “democratically legitimate”, for what that’s worth.
But the fact of large scale fraud makes this (otherwise pro-Kremlin) more difficult to make without being ridiculed.
PS. Many such examples, but amusing nonetheless – one from Chechnya:
TFW you forget to falsify at one of your polling stations