YEREVAN – A new nationwide poll of Armenia by the International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Center for Insights in Survey Research shows strong demand for socioeconomic reform and political stability, as well as support for the ruling party and government. The first survey conducted since the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, this poll gauges Armenia’s public sentiment in the wake of the November ceasefire.
“In times of crisis, Armenians are relying on their government to provide stability and ensure the socio-economic well-being of their country,” said IRI Regional Director for Eurasia Stephen Nix. “Approval of the ruling party remains high, but to maintain that support, the government must continue its efforts on its reform agenda and effectively communicate those reform efforts to citizens.”
When asked about next steps following the November ceasefire, 97 percent of Armenians think the government should focus on domestic issues such as the economy, political stability and social issues. Reintegrating Artsakh residents emerged as the second most prominent focal point, with 92 percent of citizens agreeing the government should focus on ensuring their secure return to areas patrolled by Russian peacekeepers. Furthermore, Armenians cited political instability (12 percent), unemployment (11 percent) and Nagorno-Karabakh conflict (9 percent) as the top three problems facing their country today.
Despite their concerns, public opinion of the government remains strong, with 33 percent of Armenians reporting they would vote for the ruling party if elections were held next Sunday. According to the poll, the next highest performing party would be Prosperous Armenia, with just three percent of the vote. And though the Prime Minister’s approval ratings have dropped by 22 points since 2019, more than half of Armenians continue to possess either a “very” (29 percent) or “somewhat” (25 percent) favorable view of his office.
Against this backdrop, 62 percent of Armenians would trust the outcome of snap elections if the current government organized them. Regardless, citizens overwhelmingly support electoral improvement in Armenia, with 74 percent believing in the importance of reforms to the Electoral Code. More specifically, 73 percent of Armenians agree candidates should provide details on their campaign expenditures and 68 percent want increased opportunities for citizens to inform party lists.
The survey was conducted on behalf of IRI’s Center for Insights in Survey Research by Breavis(represented by IPSC LLC) between February 8 and February 16, 2021. The data was collected through phone interviews with 1,510 Armenian residents aged 18 or older. The response rate was 26 percent, and the margin of error does not exceed plus or minus 2.5 points for the full sample. The data is weighted for 11 regional groups, age, gender and community type. This survey was made possible by the generous support of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).