Underdog Vladimir Putin wins shock Russian election victory
Looks like the pollsters were wrong again
Fresh from Donald Trump's election victory in 2016, political pundits are once again left picking up the tattered pieces of their projections today after Vladimir Putin stormed to a stunning victory in the Russian presidential election.
The son of a factory worker and Soviet Navy officer, Putin upset the odds both at home and overseas with a victory described as further validation of the democratic process in Russia.
Campaigning on a message of national pride, Putin's hugely popular movement was praised for refusing to use underhand tactics, choosing instead to focus on Russia's accomplishments and avenues for potential expansion.
— Reuters (@Reuters) March 18, 2018
There was widespread relief among his supporters following confirmation of the victory, with many previously fearing that the under-funded campaign might be outgunned by presidential rivals who enjoy the backing of Russia's elite.
However, Putin's warmth and voter appeal - combined with his ability to delegate UK-based projects to his advisers - eventually saw the plucky upstart take the reins against all odds.
The shock result casts doubt on the smooth running of World Cup 2018, for which Russia is the host nation, in what has otherwise been a well-organised and uncontroversial road to the tournament.
Expecting a continuation of the empathy characteristic of Putin’s campaign, fans are predicting FIFA’s flagship event to be the most inclusive and diverse yet.