Sixty-two percent of Georgians say none of the parties represent their interests, the polls published on Monday by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and CRRC Georgia revealed.
A breakdown by party support showed that every fifth Georgian Dream ruling party supporter, almost every second opposition supporter, and the majority of undecided say none of the parties represent their interests. Further, the majority (53 percent) says MPs do not take into account opinions of people like them, the polls said.
The survey also revealed that Georgian citizens were bound together by a shared commitment to European and Euro-Atlantic integration.
The new survey, which was conducted before the European Commission’s November 8th decision that recommended the European Council to grant Georgia the bloc’s candidacy, reaffirmed the “unwavering dedication” of the Georgian people to European integration, with an “impressive 79 percent expressing support for EU membership”, NDI Georgia said.
The survey showed that poverty and economic problems identified as main contributors to a sense of insecurity - a finding that transcends party lines. Although a plurality acknowledged improvement in healthcare, freedom of speech, and women’s rights and education, every second Georgian says the situation regarding poverty and crime has worsened.
“Furthermore, one in ten Georgians can’t afford food, while one in four can only afford food, but nothing else. This number is even more distressing in ethnic minority regions, where a quarter of residents reportedly struggle to provide food for their families”, the polls said. Georgians, irrespective of political affiliations, shared a concern regarding the adverse impacts of emigration. 16 percent expressed intentions to emigrate, while the majority said they personally knew someone who has already emigrated in the last 12 months. Low salaries and a dearth of job opportunities were cited as the primary driving factors behind this emigration trend.
The new poll reveals other priority areas which Georgian citizens - regardless of partisanship - cared about, namely: education, healthcare, homeless animals, and mental health. The absolute majority said mental health services should be covered by the state insurance package. Further, homeless animals, particularly dogs, now took the spotlight as the number one local problem. The survey revealed an alarming increase in the severity of this issue since 2020. The majority (68 percent) - across all demographic groups - was concerned about this topic, especially in small cities and Tbilisi.
“The survey highlights a collective vision for a prosperous Georgia, with citizens expressing shared aspirations for economic growth and European future. Despite the polarization among politicians, the survey illuminates a common ground among citizens that transcends party lines. It is incumbent upon political leaders to prioritize the shared needs of the public, and collaborate in building a future that resonates with the collective vision of the people they serve.” - said NDI Georgia country director, Alan Gillam
The new report looks at a nationwide survey conducted between October 12-November 4, through face-to-face interviews with a nationwide representative sample of Georgia’s adult population, excluding occupied territories. The October poll included 2,068 completed interviews.