Manchester Central MP Tony Lloyd who is currently in Russia as an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe monitoring the current Parliamentary Assembly elections has described the election results as a serious blow to Vladimir Putin and those who operate with him.
Writing on his blog,Lloyd says that he saw a ballot box which had been left unsealed allowing votes to be added and removed without altering the total.
"Local observers had tried to get this fixed without success until International Observers – my Danish colleague and I insisted. The local official was very anxious we saw this as “just an oversight”.
Putin's party United Russia won the election with just under 50% of the vote, a sharp drop in its support.
Correspondents say the result reflects Mr Putin's declining popularity ahead of his bid for the Russian presidency in March.
Lloyd also adds that:
Elsewhere a police officer tried to stop us entering a polling station and asked us to go to the police station to confirm our status. I refused and in this case the local polling official was helpful and we were able to observe. Another colleague was physically prevented from entering the place where local results were totalled to give the regional totals and where fraud is very possible. In the end by complaining loudly and to the higher authorities, he was allowed in.