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NDI: 60% of respondents have not decided yet whom to vote for in upcoming parliamentary elections

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, December 22
The National Democratic Institute and CRRC Georgia presented the results of a new survey on December 21.

The survey concerns several issues, including foreign policy, political parties and other ongoing events.

The fieldwork was carried out from 17 November to 7 December 2015 throughout Georgia. A total of 1881 respondents were interviewed among the Georgian-speaking population.

According to the survey, 58 percent of Georgians support the country’s goal to join the European Union (EU), which is 11% more compared to the survey made in August. At the same time, some citizens are considering alternatives such as the Eurasian Union, which earned 24 percent support, which was 28% in August. A total of 8% of respondents believe that Georgia should not become a member of any organization.

Moreover, the government's goal to become a NATO member is acceptable for 69% of respondents, and unacceptable for 21% of respondents.

According to the survey, 57% of respondents believe that NATO membership will bring security to Georgia, while 45% believe that the economic situation will be improved.

The poll also revealed that 13% of respondents believe that Georgia is developing mostly in the right direction. Another 3% said Georgia is fully developing in the right direction; 31% of respondents could not answer the question; 17% said that Georgia is developing mostly in the wrong direction, while 18% said that Georgia is really going in the wrong direction.

The poll also found that 18 percent of all citizens identified Georgian Dream as the party closest to them, and 14 percent identified United National Movement (UNM). Irakli Alasania-Free Democrats and the Alliance of Patriots both have 9 percent support, with the United Democratic Movement scoring 5%, the Labor Party 5%, and the Patriot Alliance 4%.

Responding to the question “If parliamentary elections were held tomorrow, would you say you are decided or undecided?” 60 percent of citizens said they are undecided who to vote for. A total of 35% of Georgians already have a preferred political party, while 65% of the respondents said they would participate in the elections if they were held tomorrow. Out of these, 10 percent would vote for the United National Movement (UNM) and 16 percent would vote for Georgian Dream Coalition.

A total of 19% of respondents of the NDI survey believe that the Georgian Dream coalition can handle relations with Russia the best.

According to the survey, 24% said that none of the parties is able to handle relations with Russia; 6% named the National Movement, 6% named the Free Democrats, and 12% United Democratic Movement (UNM).

As for the same question with regards to NATO, the answers are as follows: 17% Georgian Dream (GD); 19% UNM; 11% Irakli Alasania - Free Democrats; 2% United Democratic Movement.

The results for the same question with regards to the European Union stood at: 16% GD, 20% UNM; 11% Irakli Alasania - Free Democrats; 1% United Democratic Movement; 12% none of the parties; 32% - could not answer the question.

The poll revealed that 53% agree with the idea that the dispute related to Rustavi 2's ownership is mainly politically motivated and serves to restrict the freedom of the media. Another 21% of respondents said they disagreed with this, while 14% said they were uncertain about the issue, saying that they neither agreed nor disagreed. A total of 11% of respondents said they do not know the answer.

Sections of the parliamentary majority believe that the survey carried out by the NDI is inaccurate and not reliable.

Gia Volski, a member of the Georgian Dream (GD) coalition says that the survey is not accurate, and the upcoming elections will reveal the true situation in the country.

“I think that the NDI and many other research organizations have become a little ashamed after their inaccurate data,” said Volski.

GD member Zakaria Kutsnashvili also believes that NDI is a non-reliable organization and says “this is the reason why there is a critical attitude towards the data they release”.