TBILISI, DFWatch — Georgian Dream, the party of billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili which recently took over government power, has about five times more support than the National Movement party of President Mikheil Saakashvili.
The is the result of a poll done by International Republican Institute (IRI).
As usual, the results are not published but selectively leaked to local media without comment.
Compared to previous surveys, there has been a significant shift in support for political parties.
If there were a presidential election in Georgia, 63 percent would vote for the candidate for Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Georgian Dream coalition. 13 percent would vote for the candidate for Saakashvili’s United National Movement, 3 percent would vote for the Christian Democrats candidate, which did not overcome the threshold to get guaranteed seats in parliament.
People were asked: ‘Does Georgia move in the right direction?’ 63 said yes; 12 percent no, 25 percent said they didn’t know.
92 percent are positive to the current processes in the country; 6 percent are neutral, 1 percent pessimistic.
Has the economy increased during the last two months – 78 percent said it hasn’t changed, 11 percent thinks it has increased but not significantly, 1 percent says significantly increased, 1 percent – it has worsened.
The level of trust towards state institutions has not changed. The church is still the leader, followed by the army, police, parliament, government, media and the president’s administration.
When it comes to relations with Russia, 52 percent believes that Georgia will be able to normalize relations with its northern neighbor, 34 percent says partly able, 1 percent doesn’t believe it is possible.
83 percent supports future dialog with Russia; 11 percent partly supports, 2 percent is categorically against.
Representatives of the National Movement party do not comment about this latest poll.
Member of parliament for Georgia Dream Tina Khidasheli says the results are not reliable, as ‘the culture of sociology in Georgia is on a very low level.’
“This is the problem, that in a month, the data radically changes or we get radically different results in elections, than all of these ratings together.”
For last few years, IRI and the similar organization National Democratic Institute (NDI) have conducted polls a few times per year, but have not published the results of their party ratings out of an argument that the polls are done to help the political parties get familiar with the situation in the country, not for public consumption.
The practice to selectively leak parts of each survey has been controversial, and some believe that there is an agenda behind which parts of a survey to leak. NDI changed its policy a few months ago and now publishes its surveys in full.
IRI has not changed its policy, so what became known yesterday is only a part of the results. DFWatch tried, but could not get a comment from IRI Georgia.
According to the leaked information, IRI conducted its survey November 9-21 and questioned 1500 persons all over the country. The margin of error is 2.5 percent. It is unknown who financed the survey and what the methodology was.