A new public opinion poll commissioned by the International Republican Institute (IRI) and released on April 25 shows strong support of Georgian citizens for EU membership, disapproval of Russian citizens within the country, and a lack of faith in political parties.
62% of respondents said that the country is heading in the wrong direction, while 30% noted that it is going in the right direction. The figures remained unchanged compared to the previous poll conducted in September 2022. 36% of respondents consider unemployment to be the most important problem facing Georgia, followed by cost of living, high prices (19%), poverty and other economic problems (9% each), internal conflicts (5%).
The poll was coordinated by the Baltic Surveys/The Gallup Organization for IRI and the fieldwork was carried out by the Institute of Polling and Marketing between March 4 and March 23. The sample consisted of 1,500 respondents and has a margin of error of plus/minus 2.5 percentage points.
Political parties, elections
When asked which party, if any, they would vote for if parliamentary elections were held next Saturday, 19% of respondents named Georgian Dream as their first choice; 14% – the United National Movement; 3% – 3% – former Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia’s For Georgia party and Girchi – More Freedom; 2%-2% – Labor Party, Lelo for Georgia and Girchi.
When asked which parties, if any, they would not vote for under any circumstances, 39% of respondents named the United National Movement; 34% – Georgian Dream; 16% – Conservative Movement; 13%-13% – Girchi – More Freedom, Alliance of Patriots, Girchi and European Georgia.
42% of respondents said that none of political parties represent their interests; 29% noted that there is at least one party that more or less represents their interests; 25% think that there is at least one party that fully represents their interests; 4% do not know or refused to answer. 39% of respondents do not trust political parties, while 13% trust them.
According to the poll, 15% of respondents are highly confident in the ability of the Central Election Commission (CEC) to organize elections; 48% are somewhat confident; 33% are not confident; 17% – little confident and 3% – do not know or refused to answer.
Public figures, institutions
Georgian Orthodox Church Patriarch Ilia ll retained his place as the most favorably viewed public figure, with 91% favorability, followed by Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze with 52%; Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili – 48%; Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili – 43%; former PM Giorgi Gakharia and imprisoned ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili – 36% each; Bidzina Ivanishvili, founder of Georgian Dream, and Shalva Natelashvili, leader of Labor Party – 35% each.
Army and the Church top the list as most favorably viewed institutions with 77% and 72%. Police, Georgian media and local self-governments follow with 63%, 62% and 57%, respectively.
63% of respondents consider the European Union the most important political partner for Georgia; 47% name the United States; 27% – Ukraine; 18% – Turkey; 16% – Azerbaijan. 87% of respondents said that Russia poses the greatest political economic threat of Georgia; 8%-8% – the United States and Turkey; 4% – Iran; 3%-3% -Armenia, Azerbaijan and the EU.
60% of respondents consider the European Union the most important economic partner for Georgia; 43% name the United States; 30% – Turkey; 22% – Azerbaijan; 21% – Ukraine. As for the countries posing the greatest economic threat, 76% of respondents name Russia; 6% – Turkey; 5% – the United States; 2%-2% – the European Union, Ukraine, Iran, China, Armenia and Azerbaijan.
10% of respondents assess very positively, 30% positively, 20% somewhat negatively, and 30% negatively the government’s handling of Georgia’s relations with Russia. 10% either don’t know or refused to answer.
34% of respondents strongly oppose further dialogue with Russia; 27% – somewhat support; 26% – fully support; 9% – somewhat oppose, and 4% do not know or refused to answer.
17% of respondents note that the current foreign policy course of Georgian government is pro-Western; 21% say that it is more pro-Western than pro-Russian; 20% note that it is more pro-Russian than pro-Western and 25% believe that Georgia’s foreign policy course is pro-Russian.
89% of respondents fully support or somewhat support Georgia joining the European Union; 8% strongly oppose or somewhat oppose; 3% do not know or refused to answer. 80% of respondents fully support or somewhat support Georgia joining NATO; 14% strongly oppose or somewhat oppose; 6% do not know or refused to answer.
Media and information sources
28% of respondents named Imedi TV, a pro-Georgian Dream government station, as the most trusted television station, 14% said Mtavari Arkhi TV, critical to the GD government, 11% named TV Pirveli, 9% – Rustavi 2, and 3%-3% – Formula and the Georgian Public Broadcaster.
Asked whether they have heard about the draft law on “foreign agents” withdrawn by the ruling party amid mass protests, 46% of respondents said that they have had about it and 31% noted that they have not. 42% of those respondents who have heard about the draft law said that adoption of the Law on “Foreign Agents” will undermine Georgia’s Western aspirations. 38% of respondents noted that the law is intended to silence civil society organizations and media in Georgia. The same number of respondents believe that the law brings Georgia closer to Russia and 13% think that its adoption is in Georgia’s national interests.
34% of respondents strongly oppose Georgia resuming direct flights to Russia and 23% strongly support. 25% of respondents somewhat support and 12% somewhat oppose. 6% of respondents do not know or refused to answer.
- 21/04/2020 – IRI Poll Shows Pessimism Among Population
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