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Political Ratings in NDI-Commissioned Poll – April 2019

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The U.S. National Democratic Institute (NDI) released the results of its public opinion survey, showing respondents’ attitudes towards broad range of issues, among them party support, country’s direction and government performance.

The poll, released on May 21, was fielded by CRRC for the NDI between March 28 and April 15. The survey was conducted through nationwide face-to-face interviews (excluding occupied territories) with 2,927 respondents and has an average margin of error plus, minus 2.3%.

Key Findings

  • Support for political parties continues to remain low, with the plurality of Georgians unable to identify a party to which they feel closest;
  • The perception of the country’s direction is at its lowest since 2010, with only a quarter of respondents saying Georgia is heading in the right direction;
  • Institutions with the highest performance ranking are the Orthodox church, public service halls and the army;
  • The lowest performing national institutions are the Chief Prosecutor’s Office, Parliament and the courts.

Political ratings

According to the survey, the Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) enjoys the strongest public support with 21% of respondents identifying GDDG as “the party closest” to them, compared to the United National Movement’s (UNM’s) 15%.

They are followed by the European Georgia and the Alliance of Patriots with 4% and 3%, respectively. 12% of respondents either refused to answer or said they did not know which party was closest to them. 37% indicated “no party” to the question, and 8% of respondents named other parties.

In NDI’s December opinion poll, the ruling party was named by 27% of respondents as the party closest to them, compared to UNM’s 12%. European Georgia and Alliance of Patriots had 3% each.

Asked which party they would vote for if parliamentary elections were held tomorrow, 20% of likely voters named Georgian Dream; 15% – UNM; 4% – European Georgia; 4% – Alliance of Patriots; 6% – other parties. 13% of respondents responded “no party” and 27% responded “don’t know.”

Country’s direction

According to the survey, the perception of the country’s direction is at its lowest since 2010, with 46% saying Georgia is moving in the wrong direction. Only 25% thinks it is heading in the right direction.

56% believes the government is performing badly, an eight percentage point increase from 48% last December. Only 36 percent assess the government performance positively (44% in December 2018).

Respondents in Tbilisi and large urban areas have more negative assessments of government performance, compared to rural and small urban settlements. Positive assessments of government performance prevail in Armenian and Azeri-populated areas.

Performance of institutions, favorability ratings

Institutions with the highest performance ranking are the Orthodox Church (61%), public service halls (59%), and the army (55%). The lowest performing national institutions are the Chief Prosecutor’s Office, Parliament and the courts, with 14%, 12%, and 12% positive evaluations, respectively.

The job performance of the country’s leaders – Prime Minister, President and Parliament Speaker – is low, with fewer than 20% of respondents evaluating their performance positively. Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze earned 43% positive evaluation from Tbilisi respondents (down from 53% in March 2018).

A plurality, 46%, believe that the Orthodox Church should have an influence on political decision-making, while 39% believe it should have no influence.

The survey also measures public attitudes towards individual politicians. Here, Healthcare Minister Davit Sergeenko, Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze and ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili enjoy the highest favorability ratings (40%, 40% and 31%, respectively).

They are followed by Shalva Natelashvili of the Labour Party, President Salome Zurabishvili and Grigol Vashadze of the United National Movement with 28% positive assessments each.

The ruling party leader, Bidzina Ivanishvili tops the list in terms of negative assessments, with 39% saying they have negative attitudes towards him. He is followed by Zurab Japaridze of the New Political Center-Girchi, UNM’s Nika Melia and MP Eka Beselia with 35%, 33% and 33%, respectively.

NDI released the first part of its opinion survey on May 20. The results can be found here.

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