Corridor of Expectations — Results Mostly Hold

Overall, the poll of experts conducted by and with the Georgian Institute of Politics held up better than most published polls. With 49%, the Georgian Dream showed up significantly stronger than anticipated here (upper margin at 42%), which holds the lesson that incumbent parties have particularly strong advantages when the turnout is low. Indeed, our collective turnout estimate was 58%, thus 6% above the actual turnout. In the future, factoring in turnout thus may be important. Still, the estimate projected a likely strong GD lead.

The actual results for the United National Movement (27%) are squarely in the middle of the range, and mid-range was more accurate than even the exit polls conducted on the day of the election, which had put UNM at either 33% or 19%.

The one party that was entirely outside the range was State for the People. Our estimates were taken before the split of Paata Burchuladze’s party from Girchi, which arguably precipitated its collapse. State for the People had repeatedly polled above 10%. It’s possible that many of the State for the People voters stayed at home, contributing to the lower turnout.

For the smaller parties, the actual results are low in the projected range — but still within the range. We will do a more systemic comparison of this poll of experts with other surveys in the near future. For now, the results are broadly encouraging.

To be clear, we are not saying that this poll of experts should replace surveys and opinion polls. Instead, the idea is that these polls are best interpreted by aggregating the interpretations of experts and engaged observers. More soon.