What the latest IRI survey showed
Let’s start by asking about the credibility of the IRI survey. Undoubtedly, this poll can be trusted, no matter what our authorities and some other politicians say. However, at the same time, it should be well understood that this survey captures the mood in society at the end of June this year, when it was conducted. That is, during the survey, the support of the authorities was 33%.
Now let’s look at a survey by another, no less reputable organization, Edison Research. According to their data, support for the “Georgian Dream” among the population was 40%. Does this mean that some of the surveys are giving us false information? No, it’s just that the Edison Research survey was conducted in late May – early June. It is impossible to directly compare the results of these surveys, simply because there are some differences in the survey methodology, despite the fact that they are similar. However, if we conclude that the popularity rating of the ruling party has decreased in three weeks, I think we will not be much mistaken.
Let me give you another example, at about the same time the authorities also conducted their own polls, and so, according to the results of these polls, the popularity of Dream is 58%. When asked what the survey methodology was, the answer was that only the allocation method was used. I’m not a poll expert, but people who understand this have a smile on their face.
Going further, does this mean that the Georgian Dream is not the most popular political party in Georgia today, and it will surely lose the elections? No, it doesn’t. On the side of the GM, an administrative and financial resource incomparable with other parties, reputation success in connection with the fight against covid, as well as all those methods that were traditionally used by the authorities all these years – from the wide distribution of social benefits (the epidemic created quite legal reasons for this. ) to help from the street (criminal and semi-criminal structures). But does this mean that the government will definitely win?
No, it doesn’t mean at all. For Dream to win this election, several components are needed. For example, neutralization of the sharply negative effect from the severe economic crisis in which the country is located, to the weakening of the attention of Western partners. Will it happen? Not as a fact, moreover, most likely social tension and pressure from Washington and Brussels will increase. However, this is not the biggest danger for the authorities. The greatest danger for the authorities comes from the authorities themselves; in a period of political turbulence, the authorities often shoot themselves in the foot with rash political steps.
Of course, a lot also depends on the actions of the opposition, and I do not agree that the opposition must necessarily be united during the election period. Our electoral system is such that it is enough for the opposition to be effective during the election period, each party in its own way, because each party has its own voters.
But if (when) the authorities try to falsify the election results, the unity of the opposition is critically necessary. In the meantime, I’m never tired of repeating – the election results are an equation with many, constantly changing unknowns, so it’s too early to talk about what the result will be.
Гела Васадзе, (Gela Vasadze) Georgian Strategic Analysis Center, GSAC