Christian Democrats leader Giorgi Targamadze is a more trusted opposition leader than newcomer Bidzina Ivanishvili, according to a poll published by the International Republican Institute, which is affiliated with the U.S. Republican party. (Photo: Interpressnews.)

TBILISI, DFWatch – A new poll shows that no matter who is nominated to suceed Mikheil Saakashvili, his party will win the next Georgian presidential election.

A poll by the International Republican Institute shows that Saakashvili’s National Movement party still has highest support among voters.

When asked  question “If there were presidential elections tomorrow, which political party’s candidate would you vote for?”, 37% of respondents answered National Movement. Only 19% said they would vote for the candidate for Georgian Dream, a new party started by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili.

Many believe Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava (front page photo) will be the National Movement candidate in the presidential election in late 2013 or early 2014.

Giorgi Targamadze, leader of the Christian Democrats, received 10% in the poll, according to InterPressNews. Although scoring lower as a presidential candidate, Targamadze is a more trusted candidate than Ivanishvili, according to the poll. When asked which opposition party leader they trust most, 28% answered Targamadze, while 21% named Bidzina Ivanishvili.

The study was designed, coordinated and analyzed by Gallup, and was carried out after an earlier survey by the National Democratic Institute. The latter was strongly criticized in Tbilisi’s political circles, because NDI did not disclose all the results and the details of how the survey was carried out.

Georgia will hold elections for parliament in October 2012.

(Cover photo shows Tbilisi mayor Gigi Ugulava, who many believe will be nominated to succeed Mikheil Saakashvili as Georgian president.)