Despite an increase in the government's overall job approval from 41 percent to 51 percent, public disillusionment with both ruling and opposition parties is growing. 61 percent of Georgians are saying none of the parties represent their interests, which constitutes an increase from 56 percent since summer 2022, NDI polls released on Thursday said.
Further, a breakdown by partisanship showed that even a third of current ruling Georgian Dream supporters and half of opposition supporters say none of the parties represent their interests.
“The growing disconnect between the political elite and the public is concerning for democratic development. All political actors should seek to actively reconnect with the public on their issues of top concern rather than their own narrow agendas to restore public trust in their elected representatives. Support for more women in elected office should be noted as a desire for change in political discourse and agendas.” - said Alan Gillam, NDI Georgia country director.
The polls showed that EU support had grown to 81 percent, indicating Georgian citizens’ “unwavering support” for European integration.
“However, the aspirations of the Georgian people come into contrast with a perception that the government is either not doing enough or is doing nothing to ensure EU membership”, NDI said.
“There are similar trends vis a vis NATO - the majority of Georgians remain supportive of NATO membership - 73 percent”, the report said. The polls pointed out amid current economic challenges, the Georgian public viewed rising prices and inflation, unemployment, poverty and wages as the top problems facing their country – and no other concern comes close.
A plurality (48 percent) said Georgia's economy was in bad shape, while the majority (51 percent) doubt the government's ability to solve economic problems. One in five Georgians was thinking of emigrating in the next 12 months to seek working opportunities elsewhere. This number was higher among the population under 50 - almost every third citizen under 50 was thinking about leaving Georgia.
“It’s clear the settled will of the Georgian public is Euro Atlantic integration as support for EU membership comes in extremely high alongside NATO membership. Policy makers and political parties should note carefully that rising prices and inflation are stretching the finances of most Georgian families,” Gillam noted.
The new report looks at a nationwide survey conducted between December 3 - December 20, through face-to-face interviews with a nationwide representative sample of Georgia’s adult population, excluding occupied territories. The December poll included 2,519 completed interviews.