Boiko Borissov’s centre-right GERB party got 31.7 per cent of the votes and the Bulgarian Socialist Party-led 27.1 per cent in the May 12 2013 national parliamentary elections, according to an exit poll by Alpha Research.
The Movement for Rights and Freedoms got 11 per cent while Volen Siderov’s ultra-nationalists Ataka got 7.5 per cent, Alpha Research said.
Polling agency Sova Harris said that GERB had 31 per cent, the BSP’s Coalition for Bulgaria 25.3 per cent, the MRF 10.3 per cent and Ataka 7.3 per cent.
Agency MBMD said that GERB had 31.4 per cent, BSP 26.2 per cent, MRF 11.5 per cent and Ataka 8.2 per cent.
BBSS Gallup said GERB had 30.3 per cent, BSP 27 per cent, MRF 10.7 per cent and Ataka 7.5 per cent.
The National Centre for the Study of Public Opinion said that GERB had 33 per cent, BSP 26 per cent, Ataka 8.5 per cent and the MRF 6.5 per cent.
The results are a significant change from the Borissov victory in the regular elections in July 2009, when GERB got 39.7 per cent, the socialists 17.7 per cent, the MRF 14 per cent and Ataka 9.4 per cent.
The parliamentary election campaign was dominated by a controversy over alleged illegal eavesdropping. Domination of the headline by this issue obscured the cost-of-living issues with which many thousands of Bulgarians were mustered on to the streets in early January 2013, in turn precipitating Borissov’s resignation as prime minister and bringing forward parliamentary elections from July to May.
Voting day on May 12 was characterised, as customary in Bulgarian elections, by allegations of vote-buying.
Borissov was in power from 2009 to 2013, but, once official results are known, the crucial issue will be whether either of the two most significant parties – GERB and the BSP – will be able to form a governing coalition.