Vladimir Putin’s party has suffered an electoral shock after its majority in Moscow’s city legislature was slashed by nearly half. The election was preceded by a string of public protests in the city which were sparked by an attempt to exclude some opposition candidates from the ballot. United Russia won 25 of the City Duma’s 45 seats—it previously held 40. The Communist Party won 13 seats and the center-left A Just Russia party took three. Yabloko, a small liberal party, won four seats after its leader was initially banned from standing. He was reinstated to the ballot paper after legal challenge. Leading opposition figure Alexei Navalny highlighted the election as a golden opportunity to make inroads against United Russia ahead of the national parliamentary election in 2021.