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Working paper

How Multilevel Elite Loyalty Strengthens Electoral Authoritarianism: Evidence from Gubernatorial Elections in Russia

Sirotkina E., Karandashova S.
Maintain autocratic regimes is widely acknowledged to require elites loyalty. However, loyalty of which elites is more important to establish high voting for an autocrat? Basing on empirical evidence of gubernatorial election in Russia we explore how conflicts between the governor and the elites at municipal and regional levels affect incumbents election outcome. We find that conflicts between governors and the mayors of regional capitals have the only robust negative effect on both electoral result and turnout. Encouraging loyalty of these mayors secures smoother political machinery in the most electorally significant areas of the region (regional capitals) and thus has the most pronounced impact on the outcome of an electoral campaign