Source: NDI/CRRC public opinion survey, March, 2016. The poll was fielded before the Georgian Dream coalition announced on March 31 that its member parties were parting ways for the upcoming elections, meaning that they would no longer run under the joint ticket.
61% of respondents were undecided about how they would vote, according to a public opinion survey, which was fielded about seven months before the October 8 parliamentary elections, and which also shows Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia party almost neck-and-neck with the opposition UNM party.
The poll, released on Wednesday, was fielded by CRRC for the U.S. National Democratic Institute (NDI) between February 23 and March 14. The survey was conducted through nationwide face-to-face interview with 3,900 respondents and it has a margin of error plus, minus 1.6%.
Asked “which party is closest to you”, 40% of respondents said either “no party” or “don’t know”, and 5% refused to answer.
On the same question, 16%, down from 18% in November 2015, named Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) party, and 15% – United National Movement (UNM) opposition party, statistically the same as in November.
Irakli Alasania’s Free Democrats party was named by 9%, same as in November; Labor Party and Alliance of Patriots of Georgia were named by 5% each.
7% named other parties. “Others” include those eleven parties, which were named by less than 3% of respondents; among them are: Nino Burjanadze’s Democratic Movement; Free Georgia; Republican Party; Conservative Party; New Political Center-Girchi; New Rights; Industrialists; National Forum.
The survey was fielded before the Georgian Dream coalition announced on March 31 that its members (GDDG; Republican Party; Conservative Party; Industrialists, and National Forum) were parting ways for the upcoming elections, meaning that they would no longer run under the joint ticket.
As the survey was held before that announcement, a list of parties in a question about how respondents would vote if elections were held tomorrow also included “Georgian Dream coalition”.
36% of likely voters responded “don’t know”, 13% refused to answer and 4% responded “no party”. 17% of likely voters said they were going to vote for the Georgian Dream coalition; 14% – UNM; 6% – Free Democrats; Labor Party and Alliance of Patriots of Georgia 3% each.
“As shown in our polls over the past year, the electoral playing field is still wide open and no party is ahead,” Laura Thornton, NDI’s senior country director in Georgia, said. “Georgians are dissatisfied with and disappointed in the country’s political leaders, saying they do not represent them and are not accessible to them. It is not, therefore, surprising that citizens are completely undecided about their political support.”
According to the poll, 66% of respondents believe that billionaire ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili continues to be a decision-maker in the actions of the government, up from 59% in April 2015.
56%, up from 41% in April 2015, think it’s preferable if Ivanishvili isn’t involved in a decision making process; 25%, down from 30% in April 2015, prefer Ivanishvili to be involved in decision making in an official capacity and only 3%, down from 6% in April 2015, prefer him to be a decision maker in an unofficial capacity.
PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili has a net-positive performance rating of 21 percentage points with 27% of respondents assessing his performance positively, 6% – negatively, and 42% – “average”.
UNM parliamentary minority group leader, MP Davit Bakradze, has a net-positive performance rating of 19 percentage points; his performance is rated positively by 34% of respondents; 15% are of opposite view, and 35% rate his performance as being “average”.
President Giorgi Margvelashvili has a net-positive performance rating of 14 percentage points with 27% assessing his performance positively; 13% - negatively, and 50% think his performance is “average”.
Parliament speaker Davit Usupashvili of the Republican Party has a net-positive rating of only 4 percentage points. His performance is rated positively by 21% of respondents; 17% are of opposite view, and 48% rate his performance as being “average”.
The poll was part of a larger survey on attitudes towards broad range of issues, among them economy and foreign policy, which was released by NDI earlier this week.