Russian state exit polls show 76 per cent have so far voted for reforms that could extend Putin’s rule

MOSCOW (REUTERS) – Russian state opinion pollster VTsIOM said on Monday (June 29) that its exit polls showed that 76 per cent of Russians had so far voted to support reforms that could allow President Vladimir Putin to extend his rule until 2036.

The nationwide vote on constitutional reforms began last Thursday and is being held over seven days as a precaution against the coronavirus pandemic.

If approved, the changes would allow Mr Putin to run twice for president again after his current term in office expires in 2024.

The pollster said 76 per cent of those who had so far voted had backed the reforms and that 23.6 per cent of people who agreed to be polled after voting said they had voted against.

It said it had polled 163,124 voters at 800 polling stations in 25 Russian regions.

The results are roughly in line with projections ahead of the vote based on previous polls by VTsIOM.

The Kremlin’s critics say the vote is a sham and that they fear it is rigged.