Bulgaria’s 2013 elections: Exit polls put four parties in Parliament – but who will govern?

Exit poll results announced after voting ended in Bulgaria’s national parliamentary elections on May 12 2013 by five polling agencies said that four parties would enter the 42nd National Assembly – but for now the question remains unanswered which parties, if any, will form the next government.

Boiko Borissov’s centre-right GERB party got the largest share of votes, more than 30 per cent, but it is an open question whether an attempt to form a minority government would succeed or even if it did, whether it could not easily be brought down either at the first hurdle by the other parties refusing to vote it into office, or quickly bringing it down by ganging up on Borissov in a parliamentary no-confidence vote.

On the face of it, should GERB fail at the first mandate, which given that it appears to have the largest share of votes it should get from the President, the Bulgarian Socialist Party could resort to an effective tradition by forming a coalition with the Movement for Rights and Freedoms.

The Movement for Rights and Freedoms said on the eve of the elections that it would not agree to a coalition with Borissov’s party.

And while in the first months and years after Borissov’s victory in 2009, there was an informal agreement for Ataka to support the GERB government, this later fell away amid estrangement between Borissov and Ataka leader Volen Siderov. A 2013 coalition with Ataka appears improbable, rife as it would be with political complications.

Notably, even with all other parties fighting against GERB and with the BSP under Sergei Stanishev fighting an aggressive campaign, the socialists once again failed to get more votes than GERB. This could have implications for the political future of Stanishev, who has said that he would not be prime minister in a socialist-led coalition, but moreover could face a revived challenge to his leadership, of the kind that he managed to defeat in 2012 when former president and former BSP leader Georgi Purvanov tried to regain chieftainship of the socialists. Stanishev, meanwhile, said earlier that former finance minister Plamen Oresharski would head the government in the event of ultimate socialist victory.

Soon after 8pm on May 12, the exit polls came in as follows:

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.

(Photo: From left: Stanishev, Oresharski, GERB campaign chief Tsvetan Tsvetanov, and Borissov)



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 amazon.com, 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.