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International Republican Institute releases survey results

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Thursday, April 3
A public survey carried out by the International Republic Institute (IRI) from February 19 to March 13, 2014 was released on April 1. With a sample size of 3,992 Georgian residents over the age of 18, the IRI poll placed an emphasis on Georgia’s upcoming self-government elections.

When asked about the three main issues the Mayor of Tbilisi needs to take care of, almost 61% said the welfare of the city was the major priority. It also asked if the mayoral elections were to be held next Sunday, whom would you vote for? 11% said that they would vote for a candidate from the non-parliamentary opposition. In addition, 35% of respondents believed it was very important that the Tbilisi Mayor originally comes from Tbilisi.

According to the survey, 48% of the population said that Georgia is going in the right direction and the 33% think the direction is wrong; 16% of the population said the economic situation over the last 2 months has improved, 29% think it has worsened.

When asked if the financial situation of their household had improved, 64% of respondents answered that their financial situation was the same; only 8% said they had noticed an improvement, while 27% said it had worsened.

48% of those interviewed stated that unemployment is the main problem in the country. The occupied territories is most important for 19% and the economic situation is considered to be the most serious problem by 15% of the interviewed respondents.

The survey shows that 24% of the respondents are concerned about the danger of war, 11% of possible insurgencies and 9% of a hard economic situation.

For 94% of the surveyed, the church was the most trusted institution in Georgia, followed by the Army at 93%. Georgian media took third place with 84%. Television remains the number one source of information for the Georgian population. Rustavi 2 was named the most trusted media outlet with 34% of the votes, followed by Imedi TV with 30%, Maestro TV with 21% and GPB with 3%.

7% of the respondents said they knew someone who was a victim of a crime, while 84% said they did not.

Unemployment, economic and legislation problems were named as the three main issues the new parliament needs to immediately address.

According to the survey, 10% of the respondents think that distribution of agricultural vouchers was the main achievement of the government, 5% stated that it is state nation-wide insurance and 5% free text books for schools. 21% sees no achievements at all.

IRI’s polling has also shown that the non-fulfillment of pre-election promises and unemployment were named as the greatest failure of the new government.

The US was named as the closest strategic partner for Georgia, while Russia was named as the country that was the greatest political and economic threat.

58% fully supported Georgia joining NATO, 22% agree only partly and 8% are against.

70% of the population fully supports Georgia’s EU membership and 18% supports it only partly. People believe that signing the Association Agreement with the EU would improve Georgia’s economic situation and ease visa regulations with EU countries.