Most Voters Remain Undecided, Ruling Georgian Dream Ahead in Polls

TBILISI – A recent poll by Georgia’s National Democratic Institute revealed that a majority (57 per cent) of registered voters in the country remain undecided on who they will vote for in the upcoming October 8.

The ruling Georgian Dream coalition, whose numbers have plummeted over the last 18 months after being accused of grossly mishandling Georgia’s struggling economy, is polling at 19 per cent amongst potential voters.

According to the NDI poll, 67 per cent of registered voters plan to cast a vote in the upcoming elections. Respondents said the economy (41 per cent), healthcare (15 per cent) and national security (10 per cent) are the top campaign priorities.

The party of former President Mikheil Saakashvili – the United National Movement (UNM) – continues to struggle in the polls, with only 15 per cent of voters saying the plan to cast their ballot for the country’s main opposition party.

Support for both the Alliance of Georgian Patriots and the newly created State for the People, led by former opera star Paata Burchuladze, remains low at only 5 per cent.

Former Foreign Minister Irakli Alasania’s Free Democrats and the Labor Party are currently polling at 4 per cent.

When asked by pollsters who they thought would win the upcoming elections, 36 per cent of respondents said Georgian Dream had the best chance of coming out with the most seats in the new parliament.

Among undecided voters, 31 per cent believe the Georgian Dream will easily outpace the UNM will do so.

“Georgians overwhelmingly want to vote in the elections but have yet to make up their mind. This is shaping up to be one of the most unpredictable elections in recent memory,” said the NDI’s Senior Director Laura Thornton.

“Each of the individual party polls so low amongst potential voters that they cannot be taken as a guide to the outcome of the elections. With 67 per cent of Georgians planning to vote, and 57 per cent undecided, the numbers in the final tallies will most likely look considerably different than the numbers presented in the polls. The results will ultimately depend on how the undecided voters cast their ballots,” Thornton added.

By Eka Karsulidze

Photo: Irakli Chumburidze/ JumpStart Georgia

29 July 2016 16:15