Defense Minister Irakli Alasania, PM Irakli Garibashvili and parliament speaker Davit Usupashvili are among the politicians with highest positive favorability ratings, according to NDI-commissioned poll fielded in late July and early August, few weeks after the second round of local elections.
But their favorability rating, like those of many other politicians, has declined since previous similar public opinion survey fielded in April.
The part of survey which examines favorability ratings includes a list of dozens of figures, mainly politicians, and represents respondents’ answers on a question whether they "like" or "dislike" specific figures.
Defense Minister Alasania has 60% favorability rating, a seven percentage point decline since April, followed by PM Garibashvili with 54%, down from 64% in April and parliament speaker Usupashvili with 51%, a ten percentage point decrease since April. Of these three, Usupashvili has the highest unfavorable rating at 20%, followed by Garibashvili with 18% and Alasania who is “disliked” by 13% of respondents.
In this rating UNM parliamentary minority leader, MP David Bakradze, is tied at 48% with President Giorgi Margvelashvili. But Bakradze has higher unfavorability rating of 27%, compared to Margvelashvili’s 19%.
Alasania also has the highest job approval rating among the ministers at 37%, down from 44% in April, followed by healthcare minister Davit Sergeenko with 26% and justice minister Tea Tsulukiani and foreign minister Maia Panjikidze with 25% each.
Respondents were also asked how they assess PM Garibashvili’s job performance in respect of specific areas ranging from healthcare to tackling poverty, relations with Russia and job creation. In most of the areas majority of respondents’ chose the answer “neither badly nor well.” Most of the positive assessment he got in the area of healthcare (25%), followed by human rights (19%); education (19%); minority rights (17%); prisons (17%); national security (16%); agriculture (15%).
Highest negative assessments were made in respect of PM Garibashvili’s job performance in issues such as “rising prices” with 38% assessing it either as “badly” or “very badly”, jobs and poverty (37% each).
Former PM Bidzina Ivanishvili has 45% favorability rating, down from 51% in April. 50% of respondents believe that ex-PM Ivanishvili continues to be a decision-maker in the actions of the government, down from 62% in April and 36% of those who think so approve it and 53% disapprove.
Ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili’s favorability rating stands at 22%, statistically the same as in April and he is “disliked” by 49% of respondents, down from 54% in April.
Patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Ilia II, enjoys the highest positive favorability rating among the persons on the list with 91%, a five percentage point declined since April.
The poll is part of a broader survey, which was fielded by the Caucasus Resource Research Centers (CRRC) for NDI and which also looks into public attitudes towards various policy and current issues. The survey was conducted in a period between July 23 and August 7 after the second round of local elections, won by the ruling Georgian Dream coalition. The survey was funded by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). It was conducted through nationwide face-to-face interview with 3,338 respondents and has a margin of error plus, minus 2.9%.
The poll also shows that 42% of respondents identify GD ruling coalition as the political force “closest” to them, followed by UNM with 11%. 30% chose answer “no party”, 4% refused to answer and 4% were did not know.