Russian legislative election, 2003
Parliamentary elections were held in Russia on 7 December 2003. At stake were the 450 seats in the State Duma (Gosudarstvennaya Duma), the lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia (The legislature).
As expected, the United Russia pro-Vladimir Putin party won the largest number of votes and seats. Of the other parties, the Communist Party is still the largest, though much reduced in strength. Liberal Democratic Party improved its position by a few delegates. The liberal Yabloko party and the liberal-conservative Union of Rightist Forces lost most of its seats. The only other significant party is socialist Homeland Union.
Federal electoral law allowed only national political parties to run its candidates in regional elections. In December 2003, there were 44 such parties on the registrar of the Ministry of Justice, and 30 of them did indeed take part in the State Duma elections either individually or by participating in electoral blocs.
United Russia 
The party manifesto was adopted at its Third Congress on 20 September 2003, formalizing positions accepted at the party's Second Congress on 29 March 2003. The document insisted that the country faced a choice not only over membership of the next State Duma but about developmental paths, arguing that Citizens of Russia now have a real chance of choosing a successful future for themselves and the country. Conceding that the party "considers itself as a basis of support for the president", it argued that it was neither a party of the left nor of the right but a realistic one, asserting that the centrism espoused by the party "is not an ideology in the usual sense of the word but was 'pragmatic, capable of resolving real problems for real people". Its key principles were "order and legality". The document argued that the Russian state had found adequate reserves to overcome the crisis of the 1990s.
In terms of governance, United Russia called for a government responsible to the parliamentary majority, and spent much time defending the development of adequately resourced local government. The party would defend the media from "pressure from commercial structures and bodies of state power", while in social policy it would ensure continued improvements in living standards, a "civilized market", and a move towards a professional army.
In Foreign issues, The document insisted that the country was a self-sufficient civilization, and that it should find a worthy place in the international community. One aspect of this was speedy membership of the World Trade Organization, as well as the struggle for visa-free travel with the European Union by 2008 and EU recognition of Russian higher education degrees.
Union of Rightist Forces 
The party's election document talked of the need to move away from "police-bureaucratic capitalism" towards a "democratic market", and promised that the SPS would fulfil its "historical mission-to keep Russia on the high road of civilisation". The manifesto opposed "the commercialization of the state and its increased interference in the economy", and it condemned the "Latinamericanization" of Russia, while at the same time stating that "We oppose corruption and are against the merging of bureaucracy and the clericalisation of power".
Yabloko's election manifesto stressed the need to move from "an oligarchical system to a welfare state for citizens", arguing that Russia's economy had been seized by oligarchical groups whose interests were served by the government. Poverty would be overcome by raising the minimum wage and increasing welfare payments. Local services would be improved without raising prices.
Official results 
|Union of Rightist Forces||2,408,535||4.0||0||1,764,290||3.0||3||3||–26|
|Russian Pensioners' Party-Party of Social Justice||1,874,973||3.1||0||342,891||0.6||0||0||–1|
|Party of Russia's Rebirth-Russian Party of Life||1,140,413||1.9||0||1,584,904||2.7||3||3||New|
|New Course–Automobile Russia||509,302||0.8||0||222,090||0.4||1||1||New|
|For a Holy Russia||298,826||0.5||0||59,986||0.1||0||0||New|
|Russian Ecological Party "The Greens"||253,985||0.4||0||69,585||0.1||0||0||0|
|Development of Enterprise||212,827||0.4||0||237,527||0.4||1||1||New|
|Great Russia–Eurasian Union||170,796||0.3||0||464,602||0.8||1||1||New|
|Genuine Patriots of Russia||149,151||0.3||0||2,564||0.0||0||0||New|
|Peace and Unity||148,954||0.3||0||10,664||0.0||0||0||0|
|United Russian Party Rus'||147,441||0.2||0||570,453||1.0||0||0||New|
|Democratic Party of Russia||136,295||0.2||0||94,810||0.2||0||0||New|
|Russian Constitutional Democratic Party||113,190||0.2||0||–||–||–||0||New|
|Union of People for Education and Science||107,448||0.2||0||16,111||0.0||0||0||New|
|People's Republican Party||80,420||0.1||0||2,995||0.0||0||0||New|
|Source: Nohlen & Stöver, IPU, 2003 elections|
- Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p1642 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
- The Structure of Party Alternatives and Voter Choice in Russia : Evidence from the 2003 -2004 Regional Legislative Elections, Grigorii V. Golosov, p. 711
- Manifest vserossiikoi politicheskoi partii "Edinstvo i Otechestvo"-Edinaya Rossiya: Put' natsional'nogo uspekha (Moscow, 2003).
- Manifest vserossiikoi politicheskoi partii "Edinstvo i Otechestvo"-Edinaya Rossiya: Put' natsional'nogo uspekha (Moscow, 2003)
- Predvybornaya programma Politicheskoi partii 'Soyuz Pravykh Sil'
- Сведения о зарегистрированных депутатах ГД ФС РФ четвертого созыва по одномандатным избирательным округам (Russian)
- Election results - official information (Russian)