Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Georgians increasingly optimistic about joining the EU

This article first appeared on the Caucasus Data Blog, a joint production of CRRC Georgia and OC Media. It was written by Lucas Fagliano, an International Fellow at CRRC Georgia. The views presented in this article are the author’s alone, and do not reflect the views of the Europe Foundation, CRRC Georgia, or any related entity.

Despite worsening relations between the EU and Georgia, newly released survey data from the spring of 2021 suggests Georgians are increasingly optimistic about the country’s prospects of joining the bloc within the next five years.

According to data from the newly published Knowledge of and Attitudes towards the EU in Georgia 2021 survey CRRC Georgia conducted for the Europe Foundation, there was a steep rise between 2019 and 2021 in the share of people thinking that Georgia will join the EU in the next five years.  This is of course an unrealistic expectation, as the EU accession process itself would likely take more than five years if Georgia already had candidate status.

Between 2019 and 2021, there was a 12-percentage point jump in people believing that Georgia will join the EU in the next five years. This growth marks a recovery in optimism towards Georgia's EU accession chances. 

In 2015, people were 16 percentage points less likely to think Georgia would join the EU in the following five years compared with 2013. In 2019, it was at 13%, and today, 25% believed Georgia would join in the next five years.  


In its 2020 parliamentary election platform, later transformed into the ‘Building a European state’ parliamentary project, Georgian Dream declared the country would apply for EU membership candidacy in 2024. 

As a result, one might expect that the unrealistic expectations stem primarily from Georgian Dream supporters. 

The data does suggest that Georgian Dream supporters are significantly more likely to think Georgia will join the EU in the next five years than people who support no party, though by only eight percentage points. However, there is no significant difference between opposition and Georgian Dream supporters. 

Ethnicity also matters. Ethnic minorities were 17 percentage points less likely than ethnic Georgians to believe Georgia will join the EU in five years or less. 

Looking closer at ethnicity, the data indicates that language also matters. Ethnic minorities had a 20% chance of thinking Georgia will join the EU in the next five years or less if they speak Georgian, while ethnic minorities that did not speak Georgian had a seven percentage point chance of believing Georgia would join the EU in the next five years. 


The growth in the belief that Georgia will join the EU in the next five years highlights a rising optimism in the EU, but also a rising incoherence with past experiences of EU enlargement. 

Accession procedures have lasted on average between eight and nine years after the country applies for candidate status. Georgia's current foreign policy strategy states that by 2024 Georgia will apply for candidate status, expecting to be accepted as a candidate by 2030

If accepted and if negotiations start right away (instead of in 2030), Georgia will need to join in two years to comply with the five-year belief. That is six years below the average, one year ahead of the fastest accession, and eight years ahead of the post-2000 average. 

This could be possible, as there is no time requirement for EU negotiations, and every accession is dealt with individually. However, it is highly unlikely.

It seems particularly unlikely considering the increasingly tense relations between the EU and Georgia. An illustration of this was Georgia’s ‘rejection’ of the EU’s September 2021 financial assistance package under the auspices of healthy economic decision making. However, EU officials, both from the Commission and the Parliament, reiterated the fact that Georgia would not have been able to receive the aid given its failure to fulfil the rule of law and reform conditionalities. 


With Georgia’s relations with the EU in quite poor shape, Georgians are also increasingly optimistic about when the country will join the European Union. Whether Georgians’ optimism will eventually be translated into closer relations though, remains an open question.

The data used in this article is available here.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Do people think voter secrecy is respected in Georgia

Note: This post first appeared on the Caucasus Data Blog, a joint production of CRRC Georgia and OC Media. It was written by Dr. Tsisana Khundadze, a Senior Researcher at CRRC Georgia. The views presented in the article are the author's alone and do not reflect the views of ISFED, CRRC Georgia, or any related entity.

International and local election observers often note violations of the secrecy of the ballot in Georgia, and the 2021 local elections were no exception.  According to a recent study, a plurality of people think such violations could take place in Georgia, and some have heard of such cases in the past year.

On the survey on election-related attitudes carried out by CRRC Georgia for ISFED,  respondents were asked about a hypothetical country where a citizen’s vote was somehow revealed to a neighbour who was on the election commission. 

Respondents were asked if they thought that something like this could happen in Georgia. A plurality of respondents thought it was possible, while around a third deemed it impossible. The rest were unsure.



A regression analysis shows that people in the 18-34 age group were around 1.2 times more likely to think that someone else might find out who they voted for than older people. 

Even though election observers recorded more violations of the secrecy of the ballot in areas predominantly populated by ethnic minorities, ethnic Georgians were 2.4 times more likely to think this kind of violation was possible in Georgia compared to ethnic minorities. 

People with higher than secondary education were 1.2 times more likely to deem it possible than people with secondary or lower education. 

The more durable goods a household owned (a proxy for wealth), the more likely a person was to think the secrecy of the ballot could be compromised in Georgia.

Opposition party supporters were 2.1 times more likely than Georgian Dream supporters and 1.4 times more likely than people who did not name any party as close to their views to think this was possible in Georgia. 

There were no differences in terms of gender, settlement type, or employment type.

Note: This and the following chart were generated from a regression model. The model includes gender (male, female), age group (18–34, 35–54, 55+), settlement type (capital, urban, rural), ethnicity (Georgian, ethnic minority), education (secondary or lower, secondary technical, tertiary), employment status (public sector, private sector employee, self-employed, not employed), party respondent names as closest to his/her views (Georgian Dream, opposition party, did not name a party (Don’t know, Refuse to answer, No party)), and an additive index of ownership of different items, a common proxy for wealth.

In focus groups and in-depth interviews, some participants felt that the secrecy of the ballot could only be violated when a voter chooses to show someone their ballot or tell them who they voted for. 

Some participants reported that party coordinators asked voters to send a picture of their ballot. Other participants indicated that voters might mark their ballot by drawing a line or putting a dot on it so that it is possible to tell who they voted for. 

However, participants underlined this would still mean that the voter revealed their preferences. 

One participant stated, ‘I have heard of many things, that they have told them to mark it in a specific way, put a cross on it or a dot. So I have heard of it, but not that they have forced someone. Such things happen. I don’t know. They talk about many things.’

The survey shows that, in the past year, 27% of the population had heard of a voter taking their ballot outside the election precinct. Most of the population (61%) had not heard about such an incident. 

A regression analysis shows that ethnic Georgians were 1.9 times more likely to report knowing of such cases than ethnic minorities. 

Similarly, opposition party supporters were 3.1 times more likely than Georgian Dream supporters and 1.6 times more likely than people who did not name a party to report that they had heard of a ballot being taken out of an election precinct. 

Wealthier people were also more likely to say they knew of such cases. There were no gender, age, settlement type, or employment related differences in the data.

Regardless of whether they had heard of someone taking their ballot outside the election precinct, a majority (88%) of the population thought that it was unacceptable or completely unacceptable when a political party coordinator asks a voter to take a picture of their ballot. There were no differences between different groups on this issue.

Thus, a plurality of Georgia’s population thinks it is possible for someone to know who you voted for. Qualitative data suggests that the public thinks this only occurs if a voter reveals their vote to someone else. 

For a majority, it is unacceptable to be asked to take a photo of one’s ballot. Young people, ethnic Georgians, people with higher than secondary education, opposition supporters and people with better economic situations were more likely to question whether the secrecy of the ballot is respected in Georgia.

The data used in this article are available here.


Tuesday, November 09, 2021

What issues do Georgians think about when voting?

This article first appeared on the Caucasus Data Blog, a joint effort of OC Media and CRRC Georgia. It was written by Makhare Atchaidze, a Researcher at CRRC Georgia.

While voters in Georgia tend to look to personalities rather than policies in determining who they will vote for, policies also matter to a large number of people. But what issues are most important to voters?

On 2 October 2021, 1.8 million voters participated in Georgia’s local elections. In Tbilisi, Kakha Kaladze won the most votes in the first round, but failed to pass the 50% + 1 threshold for winning outright in the first round. This resulted in runoff elections in a number of Georgian cities, including Tbilisi, where Kakha Kaladze was re-elected with 56% of the vote. 

In the second round of the campaign, a number of observers noted a shift in the discourse to a conversation around social policy.

Analysis of a recent CRRC Georgia survey funded by the National Endowment for Democracy suggests that in the context of municipal elections, environmental issues are the top policy priority voters think about when deciding who to vote for. 

CRRC Georgia conducted a survey of approximately 3,000 residents of Tbilisi a month before the first round of the elections. Respondents were asked what policy issues matter to them most when deciding who to vote for.

The data shows that the most important issues people think about when it comes to deciding who to vote for are related to the environment and transport infrastructure.

These issues were present in the platforms of the mayoral candidates in the runoff elections. 

Nika Melia focused on maintaining recreational areas, improving cleaning services and wage policies, and waste management. 

Kakha Kaladze’s platform suggested that the City Hall would spend ₾300 million ($95 million) on environmental issues over the next four years. This included spending on renovating old parks and building new ones, forest restoration around Tbilisi, implementing waste separation, and continuing the Healthy City Programme, which includes these and other initiatives. 

Both candidates had even more in their platforms on transport issues.

Further analysis which looks at who mentioned parks and green spaces, environmental pollution, and/or clean streets suggests that attitudes vary by a number of characteristics. 

A regression model suggests that people over 55 were less likely to mention environmental issues than other age groups. Saburtalo, Vake, and Didube residents were significantly more likely to report they would vote for a party that would resolve environmental issues.  People with a higher education and women were more likely to name environmental issues as important as well.


Note: This and subsequent charts were based on a logistic regression model. The model includes gender (male, female), age groups (18–34, 35–54, 55+), district of Tbilisi (Mtatsminda, Vake, Saburtalo, Krtsanisi, Isani, Samgori, Chughureti, Didube, Nadzaladevi, Gldani), employment status (employed or not), education (secondary or lower, technical, tertiary), IDP status (forced to move due to conflicts since 1989 or not), ethnicity (Georgian, ethnic minority), wealth (ownership of 10 different items, a proxy variable), and closest party to the respondent’s views (Georgian Dream, opposition, Don’t know/Refuse to answer/No party).

The next most common issues were traffic, public transport, and roads. Looking at who named at least one of these variables shows that transport issues were significantly less likely to be mentioned in Mtatsminda compared to all other districts. 

As far as policy issues, people living in Tbilisi mostly think about environmental and transport issues when deciding who to vote for. Women, younger people, and people with a tertiary education are more likely to mention environmental issues. People in Mtatsminda are least likely of all districts to be concerned with public transport. 

The data used in this article is available here. Replication code for the above analysis is available here.

The views presented in this article do not represent the views of CRRC Georgia, the National Endowment for Democracy, or any related entity.  



Tuesday, November 02, 2021

Party activists near polling stations not acceptable for the majority in Georgia

Note: This article first appeared on the Caucasus Data Blog, a joint production of CRRC Georgia and OC Media. It was written by Elene Ergeshidze, a Researcher at CRRC Georgia. The views expressed in this blog post are the author’s alone, and do not reflect the views of CRRC Georgia, ISFED, or any related entity.

The presence of party activists and coordinators outside polling stations collecting information on voters has become a point of contention in recent years in Georgia. But what does the public think?

A number of local and international election monitors (including the OSCE, NDI, GYLA, ISFED) noted the widespread presence of party activists during 2020’s parliamentary elections. 

According to a CRRC and ISFED survey conducted in August 2021, only 16% of the public said they noticed a candidate, party activist, or coordinator near the election precinct during the past year, recording information about voters or asking voters for personal information. 

A large majority (78%) did not see coordinators, and 5% either reported not knowing or refused to answer. 

Opposition supporters were more likely to report noticing coordinators (33%) than Georgian Dream supporters (10%). Also, people from wealthier households (22%) were more likely to report so than poorer households (11%). 

About half of people did not think that the presence of coordinators at election precincts created an intimidating environment for voters (51%) or influenced who people vote for (55%). Still, more than a third of the respondents agreed with these statements (38%, 34%, respectively). One in ten did not know how to respond to the questions. 

A regression analysis suggests that partisanship and actually reporting seeing a party representative or coordinator predict attitudes towards the perceived atmosphere at election precincts. 

Opposition party supporters were 22 percentage points more likely to agree that it created an intimidating environment than Georgian Dream supporters and 24 percentage points more likely to say the presence of coordinators influenced who people vote for than supporters of the governing party. 

Those who said they have seen party representatives or coordinators near an election precinct were more likely to report that it created an intimidating environment for voters and influenced who people vote for than those who had not seen them.

Although more than half of the public disagreed that coordinators’ presence influenced how people vote or said it created an intimidating environment, a majority (59%) said that their presence was unacceptable. Only a third (30%) of the public said this was acceptable. 

As with the above variables, party support predicted who was more likely to think it was acceptable. Georgian Dream supporters were 2.5 times more likely (48%) to report it was acceptable than supporters of other parties (19%) or those with no specific party identity (27%). 

Those who reported they have not seen coordinators near voting precincts were more likely to find it acceptable (34%) than those who reported noticing them (23%). 

Interestingly people employed in the public sector were also more likely to report they felt it was acceptable for party representatives or coordinators to be present at voting precincts (36% vs 28%). 

While most of the public does not think the presence of coordinators at polling places influenced voters, a majority disapproved of the practice nonetheless. Notably, Georgian Dream supporters were much more accepting of the practice than others. 

The data used in this blog is available here. The analysis of whether different groups viewed the above issues differently was done based on a logistic regression model, which included sex, age group (18-34, 35-54,55+), settlement type (Tbilisi, other urban, rural), ethnicity (minority or not), education level (Secondary or less, vocational, or tertiary education), saw a coordinator or not, employment status (working in the public sector, private sector or not working), party support (Georgian Dream, Opposition, or don’t know/refuse to answer/ no party), and a simple additive index of durable goods (a common proxy of wealth).

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Leaders or promises: What the Georgian public cares about when voting

Note: This article first appeared on the Caucasus Data Blog, a joint production of OC Media and CRRC Georgia. It was written by Dr. Tsisana Khundadze, a senior researcher at CRRC Georgia. The views presented in the article reflect those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of ISFED, CRRC Georgia, or any related entity.

Researchers often talk about the importance of policies and political leaders, with the importance of each dependent on the political culture of an electorate. So what are the most important factors for people in Georgia when deciding who to vote for? 

This issue came to the forefront with the arrival of Mikheil Saakashvili in Georgia ahead of the first round of the 2021 local government elections. Whether this ultimately affected the election results is actively discussed

While the impact of Saakashvili’s arrival will likely remain unclear, data from an August 2021 ISFED survey, which CRRC Georgia carried out, shows that while policy matters to voters, political leaders are the most important factors in voters’ minds when deciding who to vote for.

The August 2021 ISFED survey on election-related processes shows that around a third of the population see a party’s electoral platform and promises as the most important factor when deciding who to vote for. A similar share reported the same about trust in the leaders of political parties. Every fourth person mentioned trust in specific members of the party as important. Fewer people mentioned the parties’ past performance or the political opinion of other people.

A regression analysis shows that the only factor that predicts whether trust in party leaders is the most important factor for someone is which party they support. 

People who support the Georgian Dream or an opposition party are 1.3 and 1.4 times more likely to say that trust in the leaders of a political party is an important factor when choosing who to vote for compared with people who do not report that they support a party. 

People of different genders, ages, settlement types, ethnicities, education levels, employment types, and economic situations have similar attitudes, controlling for other factors.

Note: This and the following charts were generated from a regression model. The model includes sex (male, female), age group (18-34, 35-54, 55+), settlement type (capital, urban, rural), ethnicity (Georgian, ethnic minority), education (secondary or lower, secondary technical, tertiary), employment status (public sector, private sector employee, private sector self-employed, not working), party respondent names as closest to his/her views (Georgian Dream, opposition party, did not name a party (Don’t know, Refuse to answer, No party), and an additive index of ownership of different items, a common proxy for wealth.

Whether someone names a party’s electoral platform and promises varies by a number of characteristics as well. 

People with higher than secondary education were 1.2 times more likely to mention a party’s electoral platform and promises as important than people with secondary or lower education. 

People who are not working and people who are employed in the public or private sectors were 1.2 times and 1.4 times, respectively, more likely to mention platforms and promises than self-employed people. 

Georgian Dream supporters were 1.2 times more likely to name a party’s platform and promises as important when deciding who to vote for compared to people who do not name any party. 

There were no significant differences in terms of gender, age, settlement type, ethnicity, or economic situation, controlling for other factors.

While trust towards the party leaders and a party’s promises were the most important factors, when faced with a choice between the two, people leaned towards trust in leaders. 

About half (48%) of the Georgian public reported that it was more important who the party leaders are. In contrast, a third (31%) said what the party promised was more important.

A number of variables predict which direction people lean in. A regression analysis showed that ethnic Georgians were 1.5 times more likely to choose leaders over promises compared to ethnic minorities. 

Opposition supporters were 1.2 times more likely to consider party leaders as more important compared to Georgian Dream supporters. 

Lastly, the wealthier a person’s household, the more likely that person was to agree that who the party leaders are is more important. 

There were no significant differences between people of different genders, ages, settlement types, education levels, or employment statuses, controlling for other factors.

People deem a party’s programme and promises as well as  party leaders important. However, people tend to place more emphasis on leaders. Georgian Dream supporters were more likely to name a party’s electoral platform and less likely to choose leaders over promises. Opposition supporters are most likely to name trust in leaders as most important. Ethnic minorities seem to care less about the leaders compared to ethnic Georgians.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Who reported seeing dzveli bitchebi engaged in the elections?

This article first appeared on the Caucasus Data Blog, a joint production of CRRC Georgia and OC Media. It was written by Dustin Gilbreath, Deputy Research Director at CRRC Georgia.



The views presented in this article do not represent the views of the ISFED, CRRC Georgia, or any related entity. 

Opposition parties and some observers reported the engagement of dzveli bitchi, a term roughly equivalent to wise guys or hoods in English, in election-related activities prior to the October 2021 local elections. Data from an ISFED and CRRC Georgia survey suggests that a substantial share of the public also reported seeing the same.

While the survey on the pre-electoral environment saw a large share reporting seeing dzveli bitchebi near election precincts in the year prior to the elections, reported sightings varied significantly based on which political party people support. Even so, some Georgian Dream supporters still reported seeing dzveli bitchebi around election precincts.

One in nine (11%) of Georgia’s adult population reported seeing a dzveli bitchi near a voting precinct in the past year, 83% reported they had not, and 6% either did not know or refused to answer. 

The public was also asked if they thought the participation of dzveli bitchebi in elections was acceptable. Most of the public thought their participation was completely unacceptable (48%) or unacceptable (39%). Only 4% of the public viewed this as acceptable. A further 8% reported they did not know whether it was acceptable or not and 1% refused to answer the question. 

Those that had seen a dzveli bichi around the polling station felt more strongly that this was unacceptable.

A regression analysis suggests that a number of variables predict whether or not someone reported seeing dzveli bitchebi around the election precinct. 

Wealthier households were more likely to report seeing so than people in poorer households.

People in Tbilisi were more likely to report seeing dzveli bitchebi around the election precinct than people in other urban areas, controlling for other factors. 

By far the strongest predictor of whether or not someone reported that they saw dzveli bitchebi near the voting precinct was the party someone supports. Controlling for other factors, a Georgian Dream supporter had a 3% chance of reporting so while an opposition supporter had a 23% chance of reporting the same, a 20 percentage point gap.

The large partisan gap on this issue may suggest that opposition supporters were reporting they saw dzveli bitchebi around election precincts in order to discredit Georgian Dream, knowing that the survey would eventually be public. This could be the case. But, the fact that some Georgian Dream supporters reported the same thing suggests that there were at least some dzveli bitchebi around election precincts in the pre-electoral period.

Dzveli bitchebi tend to be an urban phenomenon. In this regard, one might suggest that the people in rural areas are reporting what they saw on television. This again may be the case. 

A model comparing people who do and do not watch TV in different settlements suggests that people outside Tbilisi that do not watch TV were less likely to claim they saw dzveli bitchebi around polling stations. However, the rates of reporting seeing dzveli bitchebi in Tbilisi are not significantly different for those that do and do not watch TV.


While one in nine in Georgia reported seeing dzveli bitchebi around the electoral precinct prior to the elections this year, the vast majority did not approve of their engagement in elections. 

The data indicates that whether or not all of these reports are true, some of them likely are, given that even Georgian Dream supporters occasionally reported seeing dzveli bitchebi around the election precincts and that the reporting rates are consistent in Tbilisi, where dzveli bitchebi would most likely be, whether or not someone was reporting what they saw on TV on the survey.

Note: The above analysis is based on a logistic regression. The independent variables include gender, age group (18-34, 35-54, 55+), settlement type, education level, an index of durable goods (proxying wealth), ethnicity (ethnic minority or ethnic Georgian), employment status (not working, working in the private sector, working in the public sector) and partisanship. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

What issues are important for Tbilisi residents?

Note: This article first appeared on the Caucasus Data Blog, a joint effort of OC Media and CRRC Georgia. It was written by Givi Silagadze and Dustin Gilbreath. The views expressed in this article are the authors’ alone and do not represent the views of NED, CRRC Georgia or any related entity.

The first round of the 2021 municipal elections were short on substantive discussions of local issues. But with the second round coming, what does the Tbilisi public want from their local government? 

Following the 30 October elections, the US Embassy in Tbilisi pointed out that a ‘lack of focus on local issues was a missed opportunity’. The OSCE, meanwhile, lamented that national political framing of the elections ‘overshadowed local issues’. 

A new survey of nearly 3,000 Tbilisians which CRRC Georgia conducted with the support of the National Endowment for Democracy suggests that the local issues that the population of Tbilisi is most worried about are jobs, traffic, air pollution, and public transport. 

Most people were satisfied with their utility infrastructure and unsatisfied with parking, their building’s appearance, and yards. 

When it comes to public transport, the public thinks things have been getting better in recent years. In this regard, they continue to prioritise the development of public transportation over car infrastructure. The public also wants to see green spaces prioritised over private development.

Most important issues

Even though unemployment is a national rather than a local issue, Tbilisi residents were most worried about the lack of jobs in the city. 

A quarter (24%) of people living in Tbilisi named unemployment as the most important problem in their community. Aside from employment, the public named traffic, air pollution, and public transport most frequently. One in seven (13%) Tbilisi residents named traffic as the top problem, 11% reported air pollution, while 10% thinks public transport is the most important issue in the city. 


Regression analysis suggests that men, people with lower education levels, those without jobs, and people living in poorer households were significantly more likely to name unemployment than women, people with higher education levels, the employed, and people from richer households.

As for traffic, supporters of the ruling party, younger people, men, and people living in wealthier households were significantly more likely to report traffic than supporters of the opposition or unaffiliated voters, older people, women, and people living in poorer households. 

IDPs were significantly less likely to name air pollution as a key concern than non-IDPs. No other differences were identified on these issues between different groups.

Housing infrastructure

Respondents were asked about issues in and surrounding their buildings. Tbilisi residents seemed to be most satisfied with utilities infrastructure, such as gas and electricity infrastructure, and light fittings. More than 80% of the public was satisfied with the above communal infrastructure. 

On the other hand, people were most unsatisfied with parking, the condition of yards, and their building’s appearance.


A simple additive index was created with the above 12 housing items, and regression analysis was conducted. The analysis suggests that men, people without jobs, supporters of the Georgian Dream Party, and people living in wealthier households were most satisfied, while women, employed people, supporters of the opposition or unaffiliated voters, and people living in poorer households were least satisfied with their communal infrastructure.

Cars VS public transport

A plurality (45%) of Tbilisi residents said the situation regarding car traffic had improved over the last four years. A third believed it had gotten worse (34%), and roughly a fifth said it had not changed (18%). 

This issue seems particularly partisan with party affiliation being the only statistically significant predictor. More specifically, Georgian Dream supporters were 40 percentage points more likely than opposition supporters and 32 percentage points more likely than unaffiliated voters to think that the situation had improved. 

Attitudes towards public transportation were more positive. Three in five Tbilisi residents (63%) said the situation regarding public transport had improved over the last four years. One in seven (16%) believed it had gotten worse, while 13% thought it had not changed. 

Attitudes towards public transport were a partisan issue as well, with supporters of the ruling party being 33 percentage points more likely to say it had gotten better than opposition supporters. Aside from partisanship, people living in wealthier households had significantly more positive views than people living in poorer households.

As for bus lanes, the public tended to approve of more bus lanes, even at the expense of slowing car traffic. Roughly four in five Tbilisi residents (79%) were in favour of constructing new bus lanes, even if that would make transportation by private cars slower. Only 11% of Tbilisi residents said new bus lanes should not be constructed and that unrestricted car traffic was more important. Regression analysis suggests that men and car owners were less supportive of constructing bus lanes.

In general, the public tended to prioritise improving public transport over building new roads and parking spaces. A majority (63%) of Tbilisi’s population thought improving public transport should be a higher priority for the city. 

Construction and recreational spaces

The survey asked about the government’s role in the construction business. Four in five people living in Tbilisi (82%) thought that the government rather than the construction business should decide where, what, and how something should be built. Regression analysis suggests that, all else equal, opposition supporters and employed people were less supportive of government regulations.

Overall, the survey showed that Tbilisi’s population was most concerned with jobs, traffic, public transportation, and air pollution. 

As for communal infrastructure, people tended to be unsatisfied with their building’s appearance, the state of their yards, and parking. 

Most people were satisfied with gas and electricity infrastructure and light fittings. 

The public generally supports the construction of bus lanes and tends to think that the situation regarding car traffic as well as public transportation has improved over the last four years. However, there is a stark partisan divide with supporters of the Georgian Dream party significantly more likely than other groups of society to think the situation had become better in this regard. 

Finally, Tbilisi residents would like their city government to play an active role in regulating the construction business.

Note: The above data analysis is based on logistic and multinomial regression models which included the following variables: age group (18-34, 35-54, 55+), sex (male or female), education (completed secondary/lower or incomplete higher education/higher), wealth (an additive index of ownership of 10 different items, a proxy variable), employment situation (working or not), IDP status (forced to move due to conflicts since 1989 or not), ethnicity (ethnic Georgian or ethnic minority), and party identification (Georgia Dream, opposition, no party/DK/RA).