A month before the start of the official campaign ahead of Bulgaria’s November 2016 presidential elections, Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s centre-right GERB party remains the political force with the most support, at 25.4 per cent, according to the Exacta polling agency.
This is a slight drop from the results in Exacta’s June poll, which saw support for Borissov’s GERB at 26.5 per cent.
The survey, carried out among 1000 adult Bulgarians in 89 cities and towns from September 5 to 12, said that the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party had 15.3 per cent – hardly changed from the 15.4 per cent support that the party was said to have had in June.
In third place in the Exacta poll was the centre-right coalition the Reformist Bloc, with six per cent support, up from 5.4 per cent in June.
The third-largest party in the National Assembly, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, had 4.5 per cent support, down from 5.4 per cent in June.
The nationalist Patriotic Front also had 4.5 per cent support, a figure that has remained constant in all Exacta Research polls since March 2015.
Georgi Purvanov’s ABC, one of the two smallest parties in Parliament, had three per cent, a slight gain from the 2.6 per cent it had in June.
Sixty-one per cent of those polled saw the November presidential elections as important to the country, a view held mostly strongly among GERB, BSP and Patriotic Front voters. However, only 38 per cent of Bulgarians polled saw the presidential elections as very important to them personally.
Just more than half of those polled said that they intended voting in the presidential elections. The number of those who intended voting in the national referendum on November 6, the same day as the first round of the presidential elections, was about 10 points lower.
Prime Minister Borissov’s approval rating was 48 per cent, a gain of four points over the past six months, while that of his government was 33 per cent. Parliament’s approval rating was 18 per cent. In a consistent trend, the institution with the lowest approval rating was the court system.
The Cabinet ministers with the highest approval ratings were Regional Development and Public Works Minister Lilyana Pavlova (47 per cent), Deputy Prime Minister in charge of EU funds Tomislav Donchev (42 per cent) and Culture Minister Vezhdi Rashidov (40 per cent).
Among Bulgarian public officials, those with the highest ratings in September included Sofia mayor Yordanka Fandukova (67 per cent) and European Commission Vice President Kristalina Georgieva (53 per cent).