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Georgian Ruling Party Leads Billionaire Before Vote, Poll Shows

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Aug. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s ruling party has a lead of more than 20 percentage points over billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili’s opposition movement before October elections, according to a poll.

Fifty-five percent of likely voters back the United National Movement compared with 33 percent for Georgian Dream, according to the poll by Washington-based research firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, seen by Bloomberg News today.

The survey also showed that 69 percent of Georgians expect the October election will be “free and fair.”

The poll of 1,500 people was conducted between Aug. 1 and Aug. 6 and was funded by the United National Movement. It has margin of error of 3.7 percentage points. Maya Panjikidze, a spokeswoman for Ivanishvili, declined to comment on the poll when contacted by Bloomberg as she had not seen it.

To contact the reporter on this story: Helena Bedwell in Tbilisi at hbedwell@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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