The National Democratic Institute (NDI) published the political results of their June 2016 public opinion poll in Georgia. According to the poll, 67% of the population would vote in the elections if they were held tomorrow; 33% would not. The results are similar with the March 2016 poll results -- 66% said they would vote if elections were held tomorrow, and 34% said they would not.
If elections were held tomorrow, 38% said they know whom they would vote for; 57% were undecided. The majority of undecided voters were in the 18-35 age group category.
45% of decided voters said that they were influenced by the political opinions of their relatives, and 35% said they were influenced by political opinions of their priest and parishioners. 25% said they are influenced by celebrities, and 21% by their coworkers’ or employer’s political opinions.
When asked which party is the closest to their views, 27% said none of the parties, 19% said the Georgian Dream, 15% said the United National Movement, and 10% said that they don’t know. Paata Burchuladze - State for the People and Irma Inashvili’s Patriots Alliance both had 5%, and Irakli Alasania - Free Democrats and the Labour party both have 4%. 6% named “other parties,” which includes political blocs.
If elections were held tomorrow, among decided voters 35% said they don’t know who they would vote for, 19% say Georgian Dream, 14% say United National Movement, 13% refuse to answer and 5% say they wouldn’t vote for anyone. 4% said they would vote for Paata Burchuladze - State for the People, and 3% said the Alliance of Patriots. 7% named “other parties” - with political blocs named by less than 3%: the Free Democrats, Labour Party, United Democratic Movement and others.
41% of respondents named a party’s economic policies to be the key factor during the elections, 14% said it was healthcare policy, and 11% said it was a party’s position on national security. Respondents also named a party’s position on the supremacy of the law, foreign affairs, and education to be key factors.
The research was carried out throughout Georgia from the period of June 8, 2016 - July 6, 2016; 4,113 individuals were surveyed on the basis of representational selection. NDI’s research was financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and was carried out by the Caucasus Research Resource Center (CRRC) Georgia. The average margin of error is +/- 2.1 percent.
Laura Thornton, NDI’s resident director in Georgia, says that the individual ratings of the parties is so low that it’s impossible to predict the election results: “This is our last poll before the elections. According to this poll we can say that the willingness of the population to got to the elections is high, however the majority still don’t know who they will vote for. We can’t predict the exact election results, because the individual ratings of parties is very low. The October election results will mostly depend on people who say they are going to the elections [67%], but who are undecided voters [57%]. I think that will motivate parties in the two months left before the elections.”
Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili commented that he is skeptical of the first part of the poll: “I have a fundamentally skeptical attitude regarding polls, since there were cases in the past when the polls didn’t describe the reality that was achieved. The main thing for us is to wait for the elections, have a peaceful pre-election period, and then the Georgian population can decide what’s a priority for them and which team is more acceptable for them. I’m certain that our team will win and be far ahead.”
The leader of the political party United Georgia, Tamaz Mechiauri, criticized the NDI poll: “We’re not mentioned in this poll at all, and it shows that this poll is falsified. This poll expresses the desires of the UNM and its satellites, which is in accordance with the Georgian Dream’s wishes. According to our own research, we shouldn’t have less than 10% support.”
One United National Movement member, Oto Kakhidze, commented on the poll results, advocating that the UNM is the only alternative: “NDI’s poll shows there’s a difficult situation in our country. Unemployment has risen, there’s poverty, hopelessness -- and the government isn’t able to respond. The poll clearly confirms this. The United National Movement is the only alternative to this government; it has a vision on how to get the country out of such conditions.”
United National Movement member Salome Samadashvili commented that the government lost support because they were unable to solve on-going problems, namely unemployment, the economy, and bad living conditions.