Approval ratings of Borissov and Cabinet slip but GERB still has largest share of votes – poll

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov has an approval rating only just above his disapproval rating, remains substantially more popular than his Cabinet, but can look forward to his centre-right party GERB taking the largest share of votes in next year’s elections even if the party’s popularity is on the slide.

This emerges from the results of a survey by the National Centre for the Study of Public Opinion, released on October 12 2012.

The poll results follow a few days after those of a poll by Alpha Research which showed growing disillusionment withBulgaria’s major political parties, most Cabinet ministers shedding support and a growing number of Bulgarians who said that they would not bother voting in the 2013 summer national parliamentary elections.

According to the National Centre for the Study of Public Opinion poll, Borissov’s party GERB has 26.8 per cent support (about eight per cent less than most polls gave it around the time it was elected into power in July 2009) while the largest minority party, the Bulgarian Socialist Party, had 17.5 per cent. This represents a slight gain for the socialists over the past three years.

Alpha Research’s poll said that GERB had 21.4 per cent and the BSP 16.1 per cent, both having shed support.

Ahmed Dogan’s Movement for Rights and Freedoms, the party led and supported in the main by Bulgarians of ethnic Turkish descent, has about seven per cent, according to the National Centre for the Study of Public Opinion poll. Alpha Research said that Dogan’s party had five per cent.

Meglena Kouneva’s party, Bulgaria for Citizens – formed around the former European Commissioner and failed 2011 presidential candidate – was said by the National Centre for the Study of Public Opinion poll to have lost some support, arriving at a current 4.3 per cent. Alpha Research said that Kouneva’s party had gained slightly, to 6.4 per cent.

In line with all polls in recent months, Volen Siderov’s ultra-nationalist Ataka party is seen as having no chance of returning to Parliament after summer 2013, given that it has only three per cent support. However, the National Centre for the Study of Public Opinion said that an Ataka coalition with nationalists VMRO could get seats in the House.

Also destined for electoral oblivion next year were the parties of the right-wing Blue Coalition.

Parliament itself holds the spot it traditionally occupies in Bulgarian opinion polls, with its disapproval rating vastly outnumbering its approval rating. Similarly, the court system is ranked around bottom in approval ratings.

The most-approved state institution was public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television, but at the same time all state institutions shed approval – with the exception of the military. The police significantly lost support, a phenomenon ascribed to criminal cases involving police and public lack of support for Interior Ministry employee demands for higher pay.

(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)

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Clive Leviev-Sawyer

Clive Leviev-Sawyer is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Sofia Globe. He is the author of the book Bulgaria: Politics and Protests in the 21st Century (Riva Publishers, 2015), and co-author of the book Bulgarian Jews: Living History (The Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria 'Shalom', 2018). He is also the author of Power: A Political Novel, available via, and, on the lighter side, Whiskers And Other Short Tales of Cats (2021), also available via Amazon. He has translated books and numerous texts from Bulgarian into English.