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GDDG Poll Gives Zurabishvili First Round Victory

As the ruling party presented its own poll results favoring its own candidate yesterday, the divergence in public opinion poll results came sharply into focus, drawing attention to the use of polling in electioneering.

GDDG “internal” Poll

The ruling party-endorsed candidate, Salome Zurabishvili, is set to win the October 28 presidential elections in the first round, according to the opinion poll commissioned by the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG).

The opinion poll was conducted by Psycho Project, a Tbilisi-based polling and marketing company, and was fielded on October 9-17 through nationwide face-to-face interviews (excluding the occupied territories), with 3,000 respondents and an average margin of error plus, minus 2.5%. Psycho Project is run by Zurab Bigvava, a pollster and a political commentator closely affiliated with GDDG leader and ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili.

According to MP Mamuka Mdinaradze, who presented the results at party headquarters on October 18, asked who they would vote for if elections were held today, 27% of all interviewed respondents said they would vote for Zurabishvili, followed by Grigol Vashadze and Davit Bakradze with 10% and 9%, respectively. Other candidates have 6% combined.

When these results are “weighed”, the GDDG lawmaker reported, the figures stand accordingly: Salome Zurabishvili – 53%; Grigol Vashadze – 19%; Davit Bakradze – 17%; others – 11%.

Mdinaradze suggests two conclusions from the results: that Salome Zurabishvili will gain an outright victory in the first round, and that “both branches of the United National Movement – the UNM and the European Georgia candidates have equal chances for obtaining the second place (Editor’s note: European Georgia spilt from the UNM in early 2017).”

The lawmaker said the survey results also demonstrated that UNM’s “staged performances,” and its “blame-shifting” campaign ahead of the presidential polls, “was doomed to fail.”

“As it seems, the United National Movement is well aware of the real political picture in the country and is trying to radicalize the processes, to present the reality alternatively as in the past, and constantly refer to a revolutionary scenario,” MP Mdinaradze quipped.

Mdinaradze then stressed, the fact that the two candidates, “whose political force has been involved in human rights abuses, rape, business racketeering, surrendering Georgia’s two historical provinces to Russia and many other grave and systemic crimes,” may obtain 36% of the votes, “will not contribute to Georgia’s democratic advancement.”

Previous polls

This is the fourth opinion poll released ahead of the October 28 presidential elections.

In the European Georgia-commissioned survey (fielded on September 15-22), asked who they would vote in presidential elections, 13.2% of interviewees responded Davit Bakradze, followed by Grigol Vashadze and Salome Zurabishvili with 13% and 10.2%, respectively.

According to the Rustavi 2 TV-commissioned opinion poll (fielded on September 25-October 4), the percentage of support of UNM’s Grigol Vashadze stands at 26%; followed by Salome Zurabishvili – 14%; Davit Bakradze – 12%; Shalva Natelashvili – 7%.

In the opinion survey, commissioned by the National Democratic Institute and carried out from June 23 to July 8, asked who they would vote for if elections were held tomorrow, 14% of likely voters named a ruling party candidate; 12% – UNM nominee; and 7% – Davit Bakradze.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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