Bulgarian Prime Minister and centre-right GERB party leader Boiko Borissov remains the political party leader with the highest approval rating, of 32.6 per cent, according to the findings of an Alpha Research poll released on September 21 2016.
However, Borissov’s actions in the past month increased polarisation in attitudes towards him, shown in growth in both positive and negative views of Borissov, according to the agency, arguably one of the most reliable opinion polling firms in Bulgaria.
On the left of Bulgaria’s political spectrum, the dramas in the past month have cost both minority ABC party leader Georgi Purvanov and opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party leader Kornelia Ninova.
Purvanov has an approval rating of 18.3 per cent, meaning that for the first time, his approval rating has dropped below that of Ninova, which is 18.5 per cent.
The drops in the ratings of Purvanov and Ninova means that the left-wing political leader in Bulgaria with the highest approval rating is one whose party has no seats in Parliament – Tatyana Doncheva of Movement 21, at 21.9 per cent. Doncheva is her party’s presidential candidate, on a joint ticket with the National Movement for Stability and Progress.
Among nationalist parties, the politician with the highest approval rating is Krassimir Karakachanov, at 20 per cent. Karakachanov is the presidential candidate on a joint ticket of the Patriotic Front, of which he is co-leader, and Volen Siderov’s Ataka, whose Yavor Notev is the vice-presidential candidate.
Valeri Simeonov, the other co-leader of the Patriotic Front, has an approval rating of 13.4 per cent. Siderov’s approval rating is 4.5 per cent.
Among the leaders of the constituent parties of the centre-right Reformist Bloc coalition, all have relatively low levels of public trust.
Meglena Kouneva has a 9.8 per cent approval rating, Radan Kanev 7.8 per cent, Nikolai Nenchev 7.3 per cent and Bozhidar Lukarski 5.4 per cent.
Alpha Research noted that this could mean difficulties for the Reformist Bloc, going in to Bulgaria’s November 2016 presidential elections. The bloc’s presidential candidate is Traicho Traikov, a former energy and economy minister.
About 57 per cent of those eligible to vote in the presidential elections intend to cast a ballot. However, in the national referendum also being held on November 6, a lesser number – 51 per cent – intend voting.
Alpha Research said that the lack of an announced candidate on the GERB ticket made it impossible to give an idea of support for presidential candidates. Once the name of the GERB candidate is known, it would affect indications of support not only for that candidate but for the distribution of votes among the other candidates.
The poll also found that in the past three months, the approval rating of the work of Borissov’s Cabinet had declined, from 18 per cent to 16 per cent.
The ministers with the highest approval ratings were Deputy Prime Minister in charge of EU funds Tomislav Donchev and Regional Development and Public Works Minister Lilyana Pavlova.
President Rossen Plevneliev is heading for the end of his term of office with a significant approval rating of 21 per cent and a disapproval rating of 39 per cent.
Confidence in Parliament remains consistently low, at eight per cent.
The Prosecutor-General has an approval rating of 10 per cent, the military an approval rating of 28 per cent, while the police have an approval rating of 17 per cent and a disapproval rating of 44 per cent, Alpha Research said.