Today, TNS opinion, the world leader in opinion research and custom/ad hoc research, presented the results of its survey “Poll: A Snapshot ahead of Armenia’s Presidential Elections,” which describes the moods, voting preferences and motivations of the Armenian voters just before the beginning of the official electoral campaign period. For this TNS opinion poll, implemented together with their local partner IPSC, 1,607 face-to-face interviews were conducted in all 10 regions (marzes) and 12 communities of Yerevan between 15 and 20 January 2013, using the highest possible standards and extensive quality control measures, as outlined below. The poll was commissioned by European Friends of Armenia in order to contribute to a factual debate ahead of the elections.
“This was a poll conducted to the highest standards and the data is indeed very reliable. I think the most striking result was that 69% of the respondents are already certain to take part in the elections. This is an encouraging surprise, as three out of six parliamentary forces did not present or support any candidate. Our poll shows that more than half of the supporters of these parties feel that this was a wrong decision, but apparently most of them still take the elections seriously and intend to vote,” comments Dr Steve Schwarzer, Director for Methods and Statistics at TNS opinion, Brussels.
Starting from a high basis, the incumbent Serzh Sargsyan seems to have profited from the non-nomination of political opponents and enters the official campaign period with 68,6% of valid votes (valid responses are without “Don’t know” and “Refuse to answer”; raw data with “Don’t know” and “Refuse to answer”: 44,0%). Raffi Hovhannisyan has established himself as the key challenger and multiplied his electoral base compared to the results of his party “Heritage” in the parliamentary elections of May 2012. If presidential elections took place last week, he would have scored 20,8% of the valid votes (raw data: 13,3%). While Paruyr Hayrikyan and Hrant Bagratyan each gain almost 5% of the valid votes, the remaining four of the eight official candidates are largely unknown to the poll respondents and altogether score less than 1,5% of valid votes (raw 0,9%).
The design of the random sample, fieldwork monitoring, survey implementation and quality control were developed together by TNS opinion and IPSC. Quality control measures were a particular focus, including call-backs and parallel visits, as well as extensive database consistency checks. For more details about this, please confer the background information below.
EuFoA has commissioned the poll for several reasons:
• Raise public awareness about the elections, issues important to the people, and public attitudes towards politics, political parties and their leaders.
• Compare the findings of the poll on socioeconomic and political issues with those of the pre-electoral polls of March and April 2012.
• Contribute to a more meaningful debate, based on political content more than party political propaganda and myths.
• Increase public transparency and trust in a realistic picture of political life in Armenia.
• Increase pressure for a good technical conduct of the elections by providing comparative data for the assessments of international observers.