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Do you trust opinion polls and do you think they influence the way people vote?

Thursday, May 13
"I think opinion polls do actually influence the way people vote and definitely reflect peopleís approach to the situation in a particular country."
Dato, sociologist, 24

"Governmental influence on the polls which makes the particular organisation conducting them doctor the results. I would encourage the opposition parties to conduct the same kinds of polls to give themselves more confidence."
Beqa, lawyer, 47

"I donít trust such polls at all and think the Government is already falsifying the elections."
Nino, interpreter, 22

"I do not believe any opinion poll, as they do not reflect the real situation. This is because many people say that there is democracy in the country, but people are still frightened to express their opinions openly, especially when they are supporters of opposition candidates or parties."
Zurab, manager, 34

"Sometimes I think their results reflect the current situation, but the last poll, the NDI one, was not reliable I think, as the opposition have significant support, especially in Tbilisi. However, this might be fault of the people asking the questions, as they simply report what people say and frequently people do not say what they think or intend to do."
Tamuna, housewife, 29

"I do not believe in them, as I was asked and did not tell truth. I do not know who these people are controlled by and I prefer not to create problems for me and my family. As for influence, they do influence people I think, as if a poll declares that one candidate has 45% support and another 3%, it is possible that the voters of the 3% one will not take part in the elections at all, as they might think he has no chance of winning."
Nodar, bank employee, 31

"Well for me personally itís vitally important who is conducting these opinion polls. If they are being done by reliable bodies I trust them by all means. But nothing restrains me from saying that the IRI and NDI are absolutely unreliable organisations and their polls without doubt inaccurate. Evidently they therefore have no influence on me personally."
Zaza, worker, 38

"Generally I do trust the polls. But when certain organisations report that approximately 57% of Georgians will vote for Ugulava I canít believe this. As for the second part of your question, to my mind opinion polls influence people greatly as I think they exist exactly for this purpose."
Manana, teacher, 45

"From my point of view opinion polls influence only those who donít have their own opinion. As for me, I have my own opinion and nothing can make me change it, particularly those opinion polls, which are inaccurate as a rule. I never trust them."
Eka, student, 20

"There are certainly reliable organisations whose polls I trust without hesitation. But some organisations give us really unbelievable information, so how can I trust it? IRIs opinion poll results are bogus for instance as they don't coincide with peopleís general position. But I think opinion poll results still have a certain influence on the public."
Kakha, dentist, 45

"Yes, I trust polls, and I think that elections are transparent in our country, so I'm going to give my opinion to pollsters without hesitation."
Inna, translator, 21

"I donít trust opinion polls very much. They are generally conducted by unfamiliar agencies which the public only happens to hear about before the elections. I think their polls seek to reflect the choices which will make the desired final result seem most credible."
Marex, political scientist, 21