OPINION POLLING ABOUT ELECTIONS: Majority of Kazakhstanis are convinced that parties and candidates do not represent their interests

61.2% of respondents have not decided which party they will vote for.

From March 4 to March 11, 2023, the DEMOSCOPE Express Public Opinion Monitoring Bureau together with the PaperLab Research Center conducted a survey of citizens on the topic of Electoral Preferences of People in Kazakhstan. The study covered the level of party support, pre-election turnout and public perception of the election.

According to the study, 62.5% of citizens believe that none of the parties participating in the elections represents their interests. At the same time, 22.5%, on the contrary, are convinced that there are their representatives in the list of parties. 15% found it difficult to answer this question. At the same time, 61.4% of respondents also believe that there are no representatives of their interests among the candidates for deputies of the Mazhilis. On the contrary, 24.8% believe that their candidates are on the electoral list. 11.1% could not answer this question.

The results of the survey demonstrate a significant level of uncertainty in the electoral preferences of Kazakhstanis. So, on the eve of the elections, the majority (61.2%) still have not decided which party they will vote for.

The electoral preferences of the determined respondents were shared as follows:

(NOTE: the names of the parties were not read out for the respondents).

  • Amanat Party – 20.8%
  • Auyl People’s Democratic Patriotic Party – 3.3%
  • Republica Party – 3.3%
  • National Social Democratic Party – 2.5%
  • People’s Party of Kazakhstan – 1.5%
  • Baytak Green Party – 1%.

It is significant that 4.2% of citizens named another party not included in the electoral list at all. And 2.2% plan to vote against everyone.

An important indicator of the electoral behavior of citizens is the level of electoral turnout. According to the DEMOSCOPE study, more than half of Kazakhstanis (59.6%) plan to go to the elections. Less than a third (27.7.8%) will not go to vote, and 12.7% have not yet decided. 

The survey also analyzed the level of citizens’ confidence in the election results. More than half of the respondents (52.1%) tend to believe the results of the upcoming vote including 12.6% who are convinced that the results can be absolutely trusted and 39.5% are more likely to be trusted. Interestingly, these data correlate with the estimated voter turnout.

At the same time, a total of 37.6% expressed distrust of the election results including 15.4% who believe that it is absolutely impossible to trust and 22.2% – rather impossible to trust.

At the same time, 54.9% of respondents consider the upcoming elections to be a real step towards the democratization of Kazakhstan. They are opposed by 32.8% of respondents who disagree with this statement.

Almost half of Kazakhstanis (49.9%) believe that opposition parties, among others, have received the opportunity to participate in the elections. A third of respondents (30.5%) do not share this position.

It is important to note that the survey showed a high level of public demand for transparency of the electoral process. Thus, for the absolute majority of citizens (92.4%), it is important that the elections in the country be held honestly and without fraud. And only 5.7% of respondents disagree with this thesis.

However, 55.9% are convinced that the election results in Kazakhstan are predetermined, and little depends on the voters. While more than a third (34.8%) disagree with this statement.

The survey also showed low awareness of citizens about innovations in the electoral process. In general, 62.5% do not know anything about the new voting rules adopted after the Constitution was changed in 2022. At the same time, almost a third of citizens are aware of the changes – 31.1% and another 6.4% have heard something about it.

During the survey, respondents were asked if they were interested in watching the election campaign, in particular, the campaigning of parties and candidates, public debates. 50.3% answered negatively, and 41.7%, on the contrary, expressed interest. 7.9% found it difficult to answer. 

As part of the survey, a rating of information sources was compiled from which respondents learn about parties and candidates. Answering this question it was allowed to choose 2 or 3 options.

  1. Billboards, street advertising – 38.7%
  2. Social networks – 31.5%
  3. Television – 26.9%
  4. Internet sites – 26.8%
  5. Messengers (WhatsApp, Telegram) -11.4%
  6. Acquaintances, relatives and friends – 9.2%
  7. Printed publications (newspapers, magazines) – 4.2%
  8. Radio –  4%
  9. Other – 2.2%.

Another 12.6% of respondents admitted that they do not follow the election campaign.

Summarizing, it can be noted that the results of the survey demonstrated the high demand of society for fair elections and significant uncertainty in the electoral behavior of citizens. Probably, this situation is connected with the negative experience of the population to the elections of previous years, low confidence in parties and candidates, as well as weak interest of Kazakhstanis in the election campaign.

The poll was conducted in accordance with the official notification of the CEC of the Republic of Kazakhstan No. OCK-402/346 dated March 3, 2023.

Press releases and infographics in Kazakh and Russian are available at the link. 

Survey results: 

When using the material, the hyperlink is required.


Methodology: From 4 to 11 March 2023, 1,040 people were interviewed in 17 regions and cities of republican significance (Astana, Almaty, Shymkent). The survey was conducted by mobile telephone interviews in Kazakhstan. The sample was based on a database of numbers obtained using a random number generator. The telephone survey was carried out by KT CloudLab LLP Contact Center. 53.8% of men and 46.2% of women over 18 years old took part in the survey. 67.2% preferred to answer in Russian, 32.8% – in Kazakh. At the same time, 71% of respondents are Kazakhs, 15.1% are Russians and 13.9% are representatives of other nationalities. The data are weighted by such parameters as gender, age and place of residence (city/village) of respondents. The maximum margin of error with a 95% probability does not exceed 3%. The response rate was 10%. 

The survey was implemented by MediaNet International Centre for Journalism with the financial support of Konrad Adenauer Foundation in partnership with the PaperLab Research Center. The survey data reflect the respondents’ point of view. For more information, please contact Snezhana Tsoy: snezhana.tsoy@medianet.ngo .

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