Given the apparently significant numbers of undecided voters, wildly varying estimates of turnout and the possibility of an indecisive result, the eve-of-election polls by various agencies ahead of Bulgaria’s May 12 2013 national parliamentary elections may prove much less useful than those exit polls that emerge in the hours after voting ends.
But to observe the conventions of reporting an election, here is a brief summary of some of the polls, if only to give an idea of the variance among the estimates.
Sova Harris has GERB and the Bulgarian Socialist Party running neck-and-neck, effectively, with 20.9 per cent for Boiko Borissov’s party and 20.4 per cent for Stanishev’s. The poll puts four parties in the 42nd National Assembly: GERB, the BSP, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (5.2 per cent) and Volen Siderov’s Ataka, four per cent.
The poll, based on the intentions of those who actually plan to go to vote, calculates that in the 240-seat National Assembly, GERB would have 99 seats, the socialists 97, the MRF 25 and Ataka 19. If this poll is to be believed, the most likely scenario to be prepared for is a BSP-MRF coalition.
The Centre for Analysis and Marketing gives GERB 21.3 per cent, the BSP 18.9 per cent, the MRF seven per cent, Ataka 4.9 per cent and Meglena Kouneva’s Bulgaria for Citizens also 4.9 per cent.
The National Centre for the Study of Public Opinion sees GERB, the BSP, the MRF and Ataka in Parliament, but with turnout possibly boosting at least one of a further five into a share of seats: Kouneva’s party; the National Movement for the Salvation of Bulgaria (in effect, an Ataka splinter, with much the same policies); Yane Yanev’s Order Law and Justice party (Yanev has been insisting that all polling agencies are lying, as co-conspirators, about the votes his party will get); Ivan Kostov’s Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria; and the coalition between the National Movement for Stability and Progress and the party of Kassim Dal, the latter formerly of the MRF.
BBSS Gallup said that GERB was set for 24 per cent, the BSP 23.6 per cent, the MRF 7.1 per cent, Ataka seven per cent and Kouneva’s party 3.7 per cent.
According to Mediana, the standings were GERB 32 per cent, BSP 31.5 per cent, MRF 11.6 per cent, Ataka eight per cent and Kouneva’s party four per cent.
Alpha Research, commissioned by a local Bulgarian-language website, Dnevnik, said that GERB would get 33 per cent, the BSP 28 per cent, the MRF 10 per cent, Ataka 7.5 per cent and Kouneva’s party, four per cent.
Sensible commentators are regarding the outcome of the May 12 elections, to say nothing of their aftermath, as unpredictable. Forecasts should be treated with large amounts of salt. For those intending to wait in the results on Sunday night, tequila and lemon go well with it.
(Photo: Adam Ciesielski/sxc.hu)