Friday | 24 January, 2014

Positive Public Attitudes in Georgia

In November 2013, CRRC conducted a survey on public attitudes in Georgia for the National Democratic Institute (NDI), with funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). The survey shows that Georgians are generally positive about the direction in which their country is going, the state of democracy in Georgia, and the current ruling coalition. Rural residents are even more positive than urban residents, and supporters of the Georgian Dream coalition (currently the majority force in parliament) have a more positive outlook than supporters of the previous ruling coalition, the United National Movement (UNM).

The November 2013 survey was the latest in a wave of surveys that CRRC conducted for NDI in November 2012 and March, June and September 2013, thus allowing for a comparison of attitudes over the last year. Overall, Georgians feel there has been improvement on a host of issues ranging from affordable healthcare and freedom of speech to the availability of kindergartens in the country. In fact, Georgians have a positive outlook for 28 out of the 32 issues examined. For instance, 66% of Georgians believe the situation regarding pensions has improved since October 2012. 44% think affordable healthcare has improved (3% believe that it has worsened), and 31% feel that media independence has improved (1% believe that it has worsened).

53% of Georgians also feel that Georgia is definitely or mainly going in the right direction, compared to 9% who say it is mainly or definitely going in the wrong direction. This positive response has increased from 39% in September 2013. There are also different perceptions of this question based on settlement type. Georgians living in rural areas have a slightly more positive outlook about the direction Georgia is going in (57%), than those living in urban areas (50%). Additionally, Georgian Dream supporters are more positive (67%) than UNM supporters (28%) on this question.

Overall, Georgians feel more positive about the state of democracy in Georgia than in the previous survey wave. When asked whether Georgia is now a democracy, 54% of Georgians respond affirmatively, up from 44% in September. Georgian Dream supporters are more positive about Georgia’s state as a democracy (64%) than UNM supporters (39%). However, when given a range of qualifications for democracy in their country, Georgians give more varied responses, as seen below:

Concerning the voting process, Georgians appear to have few concerns. The majority of Georgians said they did not encounter any problems with the voters’ lists on election day (97%), felt they had enough information about where to vote (95%), and thought they had enough information about voting procedures to vote without difficulty (94%). Also, a majority felt that the 2013 presidential election was well conducted (89%), compared to the 3% who thought it was falsified.
Finally, Georgians are also positive about the current government. 73% of Georgians completely or somewhat agree that the current government is making changes that matter to them, with 80% of rural Georgians and 85% of Georgian Dream supporters saying the same. In contrast, 24% of Georgians completely or somewhat agree that if the parliamentary opposition were in charge they would make the changes that matter to them, though 69% of UNM supporters completely or somewhat agree.

Thus, the November 2013 survey shows that, overall, Georgians feel positive about the direction in which Georgia is going, the state of democracy in the country, and the current ruling coalition. For more information, please visit NDI’s published survey results at on their website.