Russia’s Ruling Party Leading in Elections as Putin Looks to Tighten Grip

MOSCOW—Russia’s ruling party appeared on course to maintain its majority in parliament, early results showed, in an outcome that would cement President Vladimir Putin’s control over his country’s main levers of power.

The preliminary tally showed pro-Kremlin United Russia won 45% of votes cast, followed by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation with 22% and the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia with around 8%, according to early results from Russia’s electoral commission based on 30% of the ballots counted.