Based on the new survey by the International Republican Institute (IRI), 29% of respondents definitely support snap parliamentary elections in Georgia.
When asked whether they support the opposition’s demand for snap parliamentary elections, 29% said they definitely support it, 22% – somewhat support, 27% – definitely oppose, 12% – somewhat oppose, 10% do not know/do not have an answer to the question.
IRI says data was collected throughout Georgia between June 15 and June 30, 2021, through face-to-face interviews in respondents’ homes.
The sample consisted of 1,500 permanent residents of Georgia aged 18 and older and eligible to vote, which is representative of the general population by age, gender, region and settlement size. The margin of error does not exceed plus or minus 2.5%. The response rate was 74%.
IRI reports 26% of respondents would vote for the Georgian Dream party, 14% for the United National Movement and 9% for former PM Giorgi Gakharia’s party ‘For Georgia,’ if elections were held next week.
Regarding the other parties, in response to the question “which party would you vote for if the municipal elections were held next week,” the votes were distributed as follows:
* Labor Party – Shalva Natelashvili: 3%;
* Girchi, more freedom – Zurab Girchi Japaridze: 2%;
* Strategy Builder – Giorgi Vashadze: 2%;
* Lelo – Mamuka Khazaradze, Badri Japaridze: 2%,
* Alliance of Patriots: 2%;
* Citizens: 2%; Eri – Levan Vasadze: 1%;
* European Georgia – Giga Bokeria: 1%;
* For people – Ana Dolidze: 1%;
* Droa – Elene Khoshtaria: 1%;
* Girchi: 1%;
* Other parties: 1%.
20% of respondents said that they didn’t have an answer, while 7% refused to answer.
Former PM Gakharia Retains High Personal Rating
The IRI reported that former Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia maintains a high personal rating, being acceptable to 56% of the respondents.
According to the survey, 88% of the respondents like the Georgian Patriarch, 58% like Tbilisi mayoral candidate Kakha Kaladze, 56% prefer former Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, and 40% prefer the current Prime Minister, Irakli Garibashvili.
Giorgi Gakharia resigned as PM in February 2021 due to differences of opinion with his party regarding the arrest of the opposition UNM Party leader Nika Melia.
Following his resignation, the former PM established a new political force ‘For Georgia,’ noting that they were “uniting for Georgia, but against no-one.”
Member of his party and publisher George Sharashidze wrote on social media after IRI published its findings.
“What conclusions can be drawn from the latest IRI study?
“1. The Party ‘For Georgia’ is the fastest-growing political organization, whose rating rises in parallel with the declining ratings of not just one party, but of all parties, both from the majority and the opposition, disproving the artificial myth that ‘For Georgia’ only deprives votes for the ruling party.
“2. The party ‘For Georgia’ is the party with the highest “second choice” at 9%, when the parties in the first and second place at this stage have almost exhausted growth potential, which clearly indicates the chances for the party ‘For Georgia’ to at least double the current result and overcome the 20% limit without any problems at the October elections and change the government even at the early parliamentary elections!
“3. Gakharia continues to maintain a high personal rating. A large part of the population is positive about him even a few months after his resignation. As such, the ruling party’s assessments that Gakharia’s rating was conditioned by the party’s rating were not justified.
“4. The real reason for the annulment of the Charles Michel Agreement by the ruling party has been confirmed: the fall of the 35% rating to 28% in April, which confirms an irreversible decrease in the population’s support for the ruling party.
“5. The situational alliance of the ‘National Movement’ (UNM) with the ruling party to cancel the agreement of Charles Michel was confirmed, because its rating, like that of the ‘Georgian Dream,’ has been reduced from 18 to 15%, and if we compare the current rating of the UNM with the 2020 parliamentary elections, 27%, it becomes even clearer why the party with a halved rating was upset by the cancellation of the Charles Michel agreement and the early parliamentary elections.
“6. It has been confirmed that the ratings of almost all parties have reduced, yet the support for the party ‘For Georgia’ is increasing, which is not surprising given that, based on the survey, 97% of the population negatively assesses the current political polarization. The ruling power and the opposition are doing the exact opposite.
“7. Finally, the majority of the population, 61%, are dissatisfied with the existing political spectrum and expect change from the new political force, while 75% intend to participate and vote in the elections, which once again confirms that change is inevitable for Georgia!
“The challenge is accepted! We can. We will change!” Sharashidze wrote.
By Ana Dumbadze