The US National Democratic Institute (NDI) reads in its survey released on Wednesday that 74 percent of respondents are undecided who to vote for in the upcoming presidential elections, the highest figure seen in NDI’s polls to date.
NDI: 74% undecided who to vote for in the presidential race
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, August 2
The survey says that few could identify a party closest to them ideologically, with 18 percent choosing ruling party Georgian Dream (GD), 10 percent United National Movement (UNM), and 3 percent Labor Party.
“All other parties polled below 3 percent. If President Giorgi Margvelashvili participates, a GD candidate will receive 12 percent, UNM candidate 10 percent, the current president and David Bakradze, European Georgia’s candidate, would both receive 6 percent, and Shalva Natelashvili, Labor Party candidate, 4 percent,” NDI stated.
However, if the president does not compete, NDI says that the GD candidate’s numbers rise to 17 percent, while others remain statistically the same.
“Interestingly, in different second round scenarios, GD earns around 32 percent against a UNM candidate (20 percent), Bakradze (20 percent), Patriot’s Alliance candidate (11 percent), or Natelashvili (18 percent). However, in a runoff against the incumbent president, a GD candidate gets only 26 percent and the president- 21 percent, indicating closer race compared to the other candidates,” the survey reads.
A majority believes the opposition should unite around a single candidate, and the majority believes an opposition-aligned president would be better for the country, the report says.
“Given the perceptions about the country’s direction and the economy, it is not surprising that many citizens are unsatisfied with their political choices and are undecided about how to vote,” said Laura Thornton, NDI office head in Georgia.
“This undecided rate applies to the upcoming presidential election, and may be exacerbated by lack of certainty about potential candidates, though the poll indicates that President Margvelashvili’s participation might influence the competitiveness of the race,” she stated.
The survey also says that 62 percent of citizens believe the country is going in the wrong direction compared to only 29 percent saying the right direction.
Compared to 10 years ago, Georgians see improvement in freedom of speech, affordable healthcare, and rights of women and minorities. However, they think the picture in corruption, the court system, jobs, crime, poverty, territorial integrity and rising prices has worsened. Top issues remain economic ones – employment, poverty, and prices – and only 3 percent assess the economy as “good.”
The results reflect data collected from June 23 to July 8 in face-to-face interviews with a nationwide representative sample of Georgia’s adult population, excluding occupied territories, which included 2,409 completed interviews. The average margin of error is 1.9 percent.