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24 November 2021, 11:33

Big opinion poll underway in Belarus in the run-up to referendum

MINSK, 24 November (BelTA) – A large-scale opinion poll is running in Belarus in the run-up to the referendum. Belarusian sociologists revealed the details of the opinion poll on the air of the Belarus 1 TV channel, BelTA informs.

“Such information is needed in various areas of life today. My colleagues from the Institute of Sociology do a lot of research. Among the latest research projects were opinion polls dealing with such a hot topic as COVID-19, namely people's attitude to it, a sense of safety amidst the pandemic and a number of other related topics. We are also studying such an important phenomenon as patriotism, as well as historical memory, attitude to the past. Our other areas of focus pertain to everyday life, satisfaction with various aspects of one's life,” Director of the Institute of Sociology of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Candidate of Sociological Sciences, Associate Professor Nikolai Myslivets said.

Candidate of Sociological Sciences, Associate Professor at Belarusian State Economic University (BSEU) Irina Lashuk recalled a recent opinion poll conducted by the BSEU Center for Social Studies and Humanities through mobile phones. “To be frank, this evoked certain skepticism. We called people when they were in their cars, somewhere else where it was not very convenient for them to talk on the phone, and we asked them such serious questions. But it was extremely important to give it a try, to grab people's attention. We interviewed 1,000 people across the country. The first question we asked was: what do you think about the referendum to amend the current Constitution? We got the following answers: 43.8% support the idea, 18.3% rather support. If we add these figures up, we get more than 60%. However, it should be noted that 17.6% found it difficult to answer,” Irina Lashuk said. “The second question was: do you think the current Constitution needs amending? The results were approximately the following: 32.7 % - yes, 30.4% - rather yes. Some 17% of respondents did not yet make up their minds on this. The third very important question was: do you plan to take part in the referendum to amend the current Constitution? 38% said they would definitely go to the polls, 21.6% - most likely. The fourth question was: how will the referendum to amend the Constitution affect the situation in the country? 23.9% said this would bring significant positive changes, 26.3% - minor improvements. 18% said they found it difficult to answer."

The opinion poll is currently in progress in Belarus in the run-up to the referendum. "It aims to sample a very large group of population - about 10,000 respondents. As a rule, sociologists do smaller samples. But in this case we aim big in order to, among other reasons, convey to the widest possible range of people the things that are of interest both to sociologists and to the whole society,” Nikolai Myslivets said. “The questions we offer to our respondents are designed to assess their social and economic situation and the way it changes. There are also questions regarding our relations with our neighbors, including Russia and other states. In general, the questionnaire consists of 24 questions, with the largest block concerning our expectations from the changes planned in the Constitution,” Nikolai Myslivets said.

After conducting such a big poll, the Institute of Sociology plans to do its own research on the matter. “The world is constantly changing. The situation needs to be permanently monitored, and this is what we need sociology for. Today's research involves the use of complex methods. The 10,000-person survey is conducted using a face-to-face method. We poll fixed telephone line subscribers, guaranteeing the necessary representative samples. I cannot say for sure when we will complete our survey. It will still be on at least for a few more weeks. Apart from polling people, we need to register and process this information. These are quite time-consuming procedures,” the director of the institute added.

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