Poll Finds 48.3% of Georgians Disapprove of Current Government

Georgian TV network Rustavi 2 on Tuesday released the results of a poll by German research institute GfK that showed that 48.3 percent of respondents disapprove of the government’s performance.

According to the survey, 10.5 percent of respondents said they supported the current president, Giorgi Margvelashvili. Opposition party leader David Bakradze from the United National Movement (UNM) received the second highest rating, with 9.1 percent saying they’d vote for him.

Former President Mikheil Saakashvili placed third, receiving 6.9 percent of respondents’ vote. Former Defense Minister and leader of the Free Democrats, Irakli Alasania, garnered 4.8 percent, while 3.6 percent of respondents said they support opera singer-turned-opposition party leader Paata Burchuladze. Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili got just 3.0 percent.

When asked which political party they would vote for, 25.8 percent of those asked named the ruling party Georgian Dream as their top choice, just edging out the UNM who were backed by 25.5 percent of respondents.

Burchuladze’s State for People coalition placed third with 6.9 percent of respondents’ votes.

3.7 percent of respondents supported the Labour Party and 2.9 percent the Free Democrats; the Patriots Alliance earned 1.6 percent of the vote, and Nino Burjanadze’s staunchly pro-Russian Democratic Movement was backed by only 1.4 percent of those asked.

19 percent of respondents said they remain undecided.

Participants in the survey named unemployment (47.4 percent), low wages and poverty (13 percent), low pensions (7.6 percent) and price increases (4.6 percent) as the country’s main problems.

Several members of the ruling Georgian Dream party slammed the survey’s results, saying they do not correspond to the reality on the ground.

"This is a deliberate attempt to distort reality. We already know the facts. These so-called statistics are a part of certain people’s fantasies,” Education Minister Aleksandre Jejelava said.

According to the UNM, the survey is realistic, and it shows that people do not like GD any more.

"Any survey or discussion we have with voters clearly shows that people believe the Georgian Dream is a corrupt, irresponsible government. People are willing to support us,” UNM member Irakli Abesadze said.

Responding to the findings, Burchuladze said the survey should help boost support for his party ahead of the upcoming elections.

The survey was carried out from August 3-18, with 2,200 Georgian citizens taking part in the questionnaire.

Gesellschaft fur Konsumforschung, or GfK, is Germany’s largest research institute, and the fourth largest market research organization in the world.

The GfK Group is an international market research organization providing services in the three sectors- Custom Research, Retail and Technology and Media.

Thea Morrison

25 August 2016 20:09