An incumbent Tbilisi mayor is far better positioned for re-election in May 30 local elections than any of his rival, leading the race with 57%, according to the leaked polls conducted last month by CRRC for U.S. National Democratic Institute (NDI).
The segment of the public opinion survey, which deals with ratings of political parties and candidates, was carried out as part of a comprehensive survey of voters; but while other segments of the survey were made public by NDI last week, the part involving political ratings were made available only to the parties –usual practice by NDI and U.S. International Republican Institute (IRI) in Georgia. Also as usually the political ratings are then leaked to the national TV stations by political parties themselves, in particular, presumably, by the ruling party. The same was the case with this recent poll with national television stations reporting the findings and the public broadcaster showing slides from NDI survey.
NDI office in Tbilisi has tacitly confirmed the accuracy of the TV reports about the poll results.
According to the poll conducted in a period between April 11 and April 26, 57% of respondents in Tbilisi said the ruling party’s mayoral candidate was their first choice (9% - second choice); followed by leader of Alliance for Georgia Irakli Alasania – first choice 7% (12% - second choice).
15% of respondents said they do not know who will be their first choice as a mayor and 33% - second choice. 6% (first choice) refused to answer and 12% in case of second choice.
Industrialist Party leader and beer magnate, Gogi Topadze, has 5% (second choice 10%) and Christian-Democratic Movement’s candidate Giorgi Chanturia – 4% (second choice – 9%).