U.S. National Democratic Institute (NDI) released on July 12 part of its commissioned public opinion survey, which shows respondents’ attitudes towards broad range of policy and current issues.
The poll also includes ratings of political parties and this segment of the survey will be released by NDI on July 15.
The survey was fielded by the Caucasus Resource Research Centers (CRRC) for NDI on June 12-26 and was funded by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). The survey was conducted through nationwide face-to-face interview with 2,338 respondents and has a margin of error plus, minus 2.9%.
Compared to the similar survey fielded in March, respondents’ attitude towards the country’s development and democracy has changed. Number of respondents viewing Georgia as moving in the right direction decreased by 13 percentage points and amounted to 45%; 13% of respondents said that the country is going in the wrong direction, instead of 8% in March.
38% believe that Georgia is a democracy now (43% in March), against 46% who think it is not (38% in March).
72% of respondents said that taking everything into account in general they and their household remained the same since October, 2012; 12% responded that they were better off and 16% - worse.
62% of respondents think that the current government is making the changes that matter to them; 27% of respondents think opposite. During the March survey 71% of respondents answered positively, and 18% - negatively. Number of respondents, who think that if UNM was in charge it would make the changes that matter to them, has remained statistically the same since NDI’s March survey.
The survey shows that jobs remain the number one priority issue for most of the respondents (61%); territorial integrity and affordable healthcare are the second and third priority issues at 34% and 30%, respectively.
51% of respondents think that the detention of ex-PM and former interior minister Vano Merabishvili, who is now UNM’s secretary general, was the result of impartial investigation; 18% of respondents think that it was a politically motivated arrest; 4% responded that they did not agree with any of these assumptions; 3% refused to respond and 24% responded that they did not know.
The survey shows public awareness concerning the May 17 violence against an attempted anti-homophobia rally in downtown Tbilisi.
79% of respondents disapproved the decision to hold anti-homophobia rally; 10% - approved it. 52% of respondents approved the decision to hold a counter-demonstration; 33% - disapproved it. 46% of respondents said that they did not approve breaking through police cordon by counter-demonstrators; 30% - approved it. 49% of respondents did not approve any violence against gay rights rally; 25% - approved it. 51% of respondents think that all perpetrators, including clerics, should be punished; 24% did not think so; 20% responded that they did not know.
According to the survey, support for Georgia’s EU and NATO integration remains strong at 79% and 73%, respectively.
In a marked change over the March survey, number of respondents, who are satisfied with Georgia’s current relationship with Russia, has significantly decreased. In June only 25% of respondents are satisfied with these relations compared to 38% in March. In June 63% of respondents said that they are dissatisfied with these relations (49% in March).
Compared to the March survey, number of respondents, who believe that Russia is “a real and existing threat to Georgia” increased from 26% to 37%. Number of those, who believe that this threat is “exaggerated”, decreased from 42% to 34%. 20% of respondents said Russia “is no threat to Georgia at all.”