NDI Poll: Georgians Concerned about Country’s Direction

On August, 1, the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the Caucasus Research Resource Center of Georgia (CRRC Georgia) released poll results mostly bearing on politics. Generally speaking, people in Georgia are concerned about the economic and political situation of their country. 62% of the population believe the country is going in the wrong direction while only 29% say it is heading in the right direction. People are also dissatisfied about the weak answer to environmental issues.

NDI is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government. CRRC-Georgia is a non-governmental, non-profit research organization which aims to promote debates on policy issues by providing reliable data and analysis. This research project was funded with UK aid from the British people.


According to the poll, Georgians worry about environmental issues. For 54% of them, the government does not spend enough money to deal with the issue. If we take a look at some specific points, 67% would like the government to spend more to resolve the air pollution problem and 66% think Georgia does not spend enough on food safety. Where environmental issues are mentioned foremost by the poll respondents, there is a divide between Tbilisi in which 87% believe national pollution is problematic and the remainder of the country, 67%. 90% of the Georgians polled supports the purchasing of land by the state to promote green spaces.


In 2015, 92% of the population thought that protection of disabled people was important; today this is 93%, showing a constant. Yet only 23% think that sexual minorities need protecting and 44% think it is not necessary at all to protect them.

Two days ago, the Constitutional Court of Georgia effectively abolished administrative punishment for the use of the marijuana. However, interestingly, the poll shows that 74% of the people oppose any legalization.


The poll points out that 29% of respondents disagreed with the former Prime Minister's resignation.

Georgians would like to see healthcare, education, pensions, and social assistance as top spending priorities and would tolerate cuts in foreign affairs, police, sports, and assistance to small and medium businesses to accommodate this.

With a presidential election approaching, citizens are looking to hear candidates focus on employment, healthcare, and education. Moreover, 71% expect candidates to tackle the relationship with Russia, and 65% women rights.

When asked if they were decided about their vote if the presidential elections were held tomorrow, 74% of respondents reported that they were undecided. Further, few could identify a party closest to them ideologically, with 18% choosing ruling party Georgian Dream (GD), 10% the United National Movement (UNM), and 3% the Labor Party.

Who runs could have a strong impact on the election, in particular for GD. For instance, if President Margvelashvili participated, a GD candidate would receive 12%, However, if the president does not compete, the GD candidate’s numbers rises to 17%. In addition, in different second-round scenarios, GD still earns majority of votes, but if the current president is the second candidate, the race would be really close compared to other scenarios.

By Antoine Dewaest

01 August 2018 13:42