Opinion poll in Georgia: 62% of the population believe that the country is moving in the wrong direction
Survey on Georgia
IRI (International Republican Institute) published a new sociological study, according to which 62% of the population of Georgia believe that the country is developing in the wrong direction, and Patriarch of Georgia Ilia II still occupies the first place in the approval rating (91% of respondents).
The fieldwork for the IRI survey was conducted by Polling & Marketing. The data was collected throughout Georgia from 4 to 23 March 2023 through personal interviews. 1,500 Georgian citizens over the age of 18 with the right to vote were surveyed, and this number is representative of the general population in terms of age, gender, region, and locality size. The response rate was 63%. Accuracy ±2.5 percentage points. The study was funded by the US Agency for International Development.
On the question of whether the country is developing in the right or wrong direction, opinions were divided as follows:
wrong – 62%
correct – 30%
don’t know/refuse to answer – 7%
The respondents were asked the question: “If parliamentary elections were held next Saturday, which party would you vote for?”
19% of respondents answered that they would vote for the ruling Georgian Dream party. 14% would vote for the opposition National Movement (the party created by Mikheil Saakashvili). The party of former Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia gained 3%. 3-1% of respondents are ready to vote for other parties. At the same time, 11% of respondents said that they would simply spoil the ballot, and 5% would not go to the polls at all. 20% found it difficult to answer, and 7% refused to answer.
When asked which party they would not vote for under any circumstances, the respondents answered as follows: “National Movement” – 39%, “Georgian Dream” – 34%, conservative movement “Alt-Info” – 16%.
When asked whether there is at least one party in Georgia that represents their interests, 42% of respondents answered in the negative. 29% say there is at least one party that partially represents their interests, 25% say there is at least one party that fully represents their interests, and 4% don’t know or refuse to answer.
76% of the population surveyed believe that Russia’s aggression against Georgia continues. 17% believe that the aggression is over, but there is a possibility of its resumption. 5% believe that Russia’s aggression against Georgia has ended and there will be no resumption, 3% refuse to answer / do not know the answer.
Regarding the law on foreign agents,
- 42% believe that the adoption of this law will greatly harm Georgia’s Western aspirations, 18% – that it will do some harm;
- 38% are sure that the adoption of the law on foreign agents is aimed at silencing the civil society and the media in Georgia, 18% admit such a possibility;
- 38% believe that the adoption of the law on foreign agents will bring Georgia closer to Russia, 18% – which will bring them closer.
As for the assertion that the adoption of the “Russian law” meets the national interests of Georgia, 13% of the respondents fully agree with it, and 40% of the respondents categorically disagree.
Further, 25% of respondents consider the policy of the Georgian government to be pro-Russian. At the same time, 21% consider themselves more pro-Russian than pro-Western. 17% say the government’s foreign policy is pro-Western, and 17% say it’s more pro-Western than pro-Russian.
When asked which of the listed countries poses the greatest political threat to Georgia, the answers were distributed as follows:
- Russia – 87%
- USA – 8%
- Türkiye 8%
- Iran – 4%
- Armenia – 3%
- Azerbaijan – 3%
- European Union – 3%
- Ukraine – 2%
- Don’t know/refuse to answer – 6%
In addition, according to the study, more than half of the population names Russia as the biggest economic threat to Georgia:
- Russia – 76%
- Türkiye – 6%
- USA – 5%
- EU -2%
- Ukraine – 2%
Most of the respondents named the European Union the most important political and economic partner of Georgia.
63% of the population call the EU the main political partner of Georgia, 47% – the USA, 27% – Ukraine, 18% – Turkey, 16% – Azerbaijan, 12% – Great Britain, 8% – Russia, 8% – Armenia, 8% – Israel.
As for the main economic partner, 60% name the EU, 43% – the USA, 30% – Turkey, 22% – Azerbaijan, 21% – Ukraine, 12% – Russia, 8% – Great Britain.
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36% consider unemployment to be the main problem of the country, 19% believe that the main problem is high prices, and 6% that poverty.
The first two most important problems for villages and settlements are the same – infrastructure (13%), water (9%).
Further, Patriarch Ilia II has the highest approval of the population (91%). Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze is in second place with 52%. He is followed by President Salome Zurabishvili – 48%. Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili is in fourth place with 43%. Former Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia and ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili are in fifth or sixth place – they were named by 36-36% of respondents.
As for institutions, 77% like the Georgian army the most, 72% like the Georgian Patriarchate, 63% like the police, and 62% like the media. The complete list looks like this:
43% of respondents fully support the transfer of Mikhail Saakashvili for treatment in another country. Rather in favor – 18%, categorically does not support – 26%, rather does not support – 7%, did not want to answer / did not know what to answer – 6%
68% of respondents believe that the country’s policy is moving towards polarization, 23% say that the policy is moving towards a consensus, and 10% refuse to answer / don’t know.
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As for the transport policy of Tbilisi, 57% of Tbilisi residents are dissatisfied with the new transport policy of the capital.
In addition, 79% of respondents do not support the free visa-free entry of Russian citizens to Georgia, their registration of a business and the purchase of real estate.
Also, according to the study:
- 13% support free visa-free entry of Russian citizens to Georgia
- 7% support business registration by Russian citizens
- 4% support the purchase of real estate by Russian citizens
- 5% refuse to answer / do not know the answer
When asked about the attitude towards Russians who came to Georgia after the start of the war in Ukraine, the answers were as follows:
- 37% believe that Russian citizens should not be allowed into Georgia until Russia returns the occupied territories
- 29% prefer Russians to leave the country
- 25% say they will tolerate Russians because the economy needs them
- 4% believe that Russians are well received in Georgia
- 1% gave a different answer
- 5% refused to answer/do not know the answer.