Sergey Baburin (Russian All-People’s Union)
Has an interesting history: Was elected a people’s deputy in the Supreme Soviet of Russia in 1990, and by early 1991 had become the leading contender to become its Chairman, beating out Ruslan Khasbulatov in the first round; then came the abortive August Coup, and he was sidelined as a hardliner (he was later one of only seven deputies to vote against the ratification of the Belavezha Accords in December 1991, and played a critical role in getting the Russian parliament to recognize the transfer of Crimea to the Ukraine as having been unconstitutional in 1992). But if things had gone differently in 1991, he might have played a central role in 1990s Russian politics. As it is, he faded away and is now merely “widely known in narrow circles.”
Constituency*: National-patriots, nationalists, White Guardists
Predicted share of the vote: Would do well to get 1% and beat Titov and Suraykin.
Pavel Grudinin (Communist Party)
Latest development is him calling Stalin the “greatest leader in the past 100 years” in an interview with Russian YouTube star Yury Dud.
Constituency: Old Communists, Red bourgeoisie, national-patriots
Predicted share of the vote: As I expected, he seems to have capped out at around 7% in VCIOM and FOM polls (would be higher after adjusting for undecideds). Remains slightly but consistently ahead of Zhirinovsky, so will probably come second. Would do well to get 10%.
Vladimir Zhirinovsky (Liberal Democratic Party)
Constituency: Nationalists, trolls
Predicted share of the vote: Probably around 6-7%. Would do well to beat Grudinin to second place, and is obviously trying to do so (e.g. lavishing praise on Suraykin, since he is an obvious spoiler to Grudinin).
Vladimir Putin (Independent)
No idea who this guy is, or what he’s doing here.
Safe stand-in for Navalny, because she has an even higher anti-rating. She has said some things that are very unpopular with ordinary people (Crimea is Ukrainian under international law; Russia is a nation of genetic refuse). But this is par for the course for Russian liberals, who do constitute a distinct voting bloc – after all, around 10% of Russians genuinely didn’t support the Crimean takeover – so this is hardly going to dent her numbers. Supports gay marriage, weed legalization. Has spent the past week doing a literal apology tour in the US.
Constituency: Young SWPL liberals, SJWs
Predicted share of the vote: Would do very well to get 4%. Still, virtually guaranteed to be fourth.
Maxim Suraykin (Communists of Russia)
Boring Komsomol activist. Not clear what his views actually are – his main shtick seems to be that Grudinin only pretends to be a Communist but is actually a capitalist fat cat who is not even a KPRF member.
Constituency: Young Communists, Euroleftists
Predicted share of the vote: He might have had a chance to eke out 1-2% if he was above Grudinin in the list, since babushkas would see the “Communist” next to his name and vote for him out of reflex. As it is, he’ll do great not to be dead last.
Boris Titov (Party of Growth)
Business rights activist, friendly with Putin. Supports Crimea, but against incorporating the LDNR into Russia.
Constituency: Too patriotic to appeal to liberals, too liberal to appeal to patriots.
Predicted share of the vote: Would do extremely well to get 1%. Will probably come sixth, but it’s ultimately a toss-up between him, Baburin, and Suraykin.
Grigory Yavlinsky (Yabloko)
A Jew from Lvov, Ukraine, he emerged from the Soviet dissident movement to become lifelong Fuhrer of Russia’s leading liberal party Yabloko, which he has headed since 1993 (no term limits for him). Expelled Navalny from the party in 2007 for being too nationalist (!). Advocates the unconditional return of Crimea to the Ukraine, decries Russia’s “imperialist” pursuit of Great Power ambitions, and came out against Putin’s recent directive to stop the mandatory teaching of the Tatar language to Russian schoolchildren in Tatarstan.
Constituency: Old liberals, dissidents
Predicted share of the vote: Will probably come fifth – would do extremely well to beat Sobchak.
My ballpark estimates:
Social Liberalism vs. Conservatism: Sobchak, Yavlinsky < (Navalny) << Grudinin < Putin, Zhirinovsky (curiously, Zhirinovsky has criticized the gay propaganda law, so he’s somewhat of a mixed quantity)
Economic Left vs. Right: Grudinin < Yavlinsky < Putin, Sobchak, Titov < Navalny. (Zhirinovsky has an eclectic mix of socialist, market, and even libertarian ideas and can’t really be classified)
Internationalism vs. Nationalism: Yavlinsky, Sobchak < Grudinin (has criticized “Russian World” concept as akin to fascism) < Putin, Navalny, Titov < Zhirinovsky, Baburin
Ukrainophilia vs. Revanchism: Yavlinsky (half-Ukrainian; wants to give Crimea back unconditionally) < (Navalny) (half-Ukrainian; insists on a second referendum in Crimea) < Sobchak (has merely said that Crimea was illegal) << Titov < Grudinin < Putin < Zhirinovsky, Baburin
Opinion Polls: Suraykin, Baburin, Titov < Yavlinsky, Sobchak < Zhirinovsky, Grudinin < Putin
* “Constituency” is considerably influenced by Natalia Kholmogorova’s schema.