TBILISI – Poll results released today by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and CRRC Georgia show that Georgians remain committed to voting on election day (88 percent), but largely undecided (59 percent) ahead of parliamentary elections on October 31. They remain focused on economic issues, and open to persuasion based on party policy platforms.
When deciding which party they will vote for, Georgians noted that economic policy (36 percent), healthcare policy (12 percent), and stance on rule of law (12 percent) are among the most important factors. Georgians’ emphasis on a party’s economic policies mirrors their top national concerns, which have consistently included jobs (49 percent), poverty (39 percent) and rising prices/inflation (20 percent). Georgians’ specific priorities for economic development vary by location. In Tbilisi and other urban areas, citizens favor tourism (58 and 46 percent, respectively), while those in rural settlements favor farming (75 percent) and raising livestock (59 percent). A quarter of the adult population reports that they are unemployed, a seven percent increase from NDI’s June 2020 poll and likely an indicator of the economic impact of the covid-19 pandemic.
While economic issues dominate at the national level, at the local level Georgians remain concerned about infrastructural issues, including roads (31 percent), water supply (22 percent), environmental pollution (13 percent), and traffic (13 percent). In Tbilisi, traffic and environmental pollution are the top priorities; other urban and rural settlements are focused on water supply and roads.
“Such a high number of undecided voters presents both a challenge and opportunity for parties. With weeks until the elections, they have plenty of work to do to inspire and motivate citizens by offering relevant policies on the issues citizens have consistently prioritized,” said Alan Gillam NDI Georgia Country Director. “The numbers seen in the final election tallies will look considerably different than the numbers presented in this poll as Georgians take the coming months to decide how to ultimately cast their ballots.”
With election day less than two months away, the majority of Georgians, 56 percent, are confident that the 2020 parliamentary elections will be conducted in a free and fair environment. However, some concerns remain. Approximately a third of Georgians (30 percent) report that bribing of voters presents the biggest challenge to the integrity of elections, followed by violations during voting procedures (15 percent) and abuse of administrative resources (13 percent). These concerns reflect some of the findings of NDI’s virtual pre-election analysis report, Georgia Election Watch.
NDI surveys public opinion to help Georgian stakeholders diagnose and address issues of public concern by providing accurate, unbiased and statistically sound data. This poll aims to capture the most relevant information to foster the development of responsive policies and governance. A wide range of leaders from across the political spectrum has reported that the polls are important to their work and encourage continued polling. The results reflect data collected between August 6-11, through telephone interviews with a nationwide representative sample of Georgia’s adult population, excluding occupied territories, that included 2,045 completed interviews. The average margin of error is +/- 1.3 percent. Respondents were selected using the random-digit-dial method.
NDI’s survey work is funded by UK aid from the British people.
This poll was carried out by CRRC Georgia.
NDI is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government. More information is available at www.ndi.org.
CRRC-Georgia is a non-governmental, non-profit research organization with a mission to promote evidence based debates on policy issues by providing reliable, up-to-date and accessible data and analysis. More information is available at http://www.crrc.ge