According to the public opinion survey conducted in Georgia by the International Republican Institute (IRI) in February-March 2017, 30% of ‘decided’ voters said they are planning to vote for the Georgian Dream party in the local elections; 15% plan to vote for the United National Movement (UNM); 8% for the Movement for Liberty - European Georgia party; 6% for the Labour party; 4% for the Patriot’s Alliance; 3% for the Free Democrats. The survey was carried out one month after the UNM split in January 2017 and the Movement for Liberty - European Georgia party was formed.
The survey was conducted by Dr. Rasa Alisauskiene of the public and market research company Baltic Surveys/The Gallup Organization on behalf of IRI. The fieldwork was carried out by the Institute of Polling & Marketing. The survey was funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development.
The data was collected throughout Georgia (excluding the territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia) between February 22nd and March 8th 2017, through face-to-face interviews at respondents’ homes. The sample consisted of 1,501 permanent residents of Georgia aged 18 years and older and eligible to vote. It is representative of the general population by age, gender, education, region, and size/type of the settlement. The margin of error does not exceed plus or minus 2.5 percent.
Responding to the question, “Which party would you never vote for?” 27% of the population responded Georgian Dream, 25% - United National Movement, 8% - Nino Burjanadze’s United Democratic Movement, and 8% - New Political Center - Girchi.
According to the survey, Movement for Liberty - European Georgia leader Davit Bakradze is the most favoured opposition leader, receiving praise from 50% of the population. President Giorgi Margvelashvili took first place as the most favoured political figure with 67%, followed by Health Minister Davit Sergeenko (65%) and Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili (55%).
More than half of the respondents (54%) cannot or would not name any successful reforms carried out by the government. According to 16% of respondents, none of the reforms carried out by the government ar successful. The healthcare reform takes first place with 18% saying it was successful, followed by education and the implementation of the visa free regime with 3% and 3%.
65% of those surveyed think the country is headed in the wrong direction, whereas 21% think the country is headed in the right direction. 14% didn’t have an answer. When asked what are the main problems currently facing Georgia, 47% responded unemployment, 24% said the economic crisis, and 9% said territorial integrity.
70% think that Georgia’s economic situation has worsened during the last two months, and only 8% think it has improved. In the July 2012 poll, 20% thought that the economic situation was getting worse and 30% that it was getting better. In 2004, 44% of the population thought that the economic situation was getting better and 13% that it was getting worse.
According to the survey, 73% of respondents know about the rise in excise taxes, and out of those, 97% think that this is a negative change, while only 2% think that it is a positive change.
68% know about Georgia’s deals and negotiations with Russian energy company Gazprom. Out of those people, 58% negatively assess the government’s decisions during negotiations with gazprom, 11% assess it positively, 16% were neutral and 15% did not have a position on it.
97% of the pollees know about the implementation of the visa free regime with the Schengen area, 2% do not have information about, 1% refuses to answer. 90% supports Georgia’s membership in the EU. Out of those people, 64% fully support membership and 26% partially supports it. 6% do not support membership and 3% refrained from answering.
In regards to NATO, 82% supports membership in the alliance. Out of those people 56% fully supports it and 26% only partially. 13% doesn’t support NATO membership and 5% refrained from answering or don’t have an answer.