Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s centre-right GERB party won most of the country’s largest cities that were up for grabs in second-round mayoral elections on November 1 2015, according to initial exit poll results.
GERB won first-round victories in Sofia and four other cities – Varna, Bourgas, Rousse and Stara Zagora – out of Bulgaria’s 10 largest at the first round on October 25.
In the run-off on November 1, GERB mayoral candidates won in Plovdiv, Sliven, Shoumen, Dobrich, and Haskovo, the first exit polls said – although later reports said that Dobrich had been won not by GERB but by the Reformist Bloc. The exception was the country’s seventh-largest city, Pleven, where Georgi Spartanski, backed by GERB’s national coalition government partner the Reformist Bloc and the VMRO, defeated his GERB rival.
In Dobrich, the GERB victory was seen in initial exit polls as narrow – the party’s Detelina Nikolova was said to have got 51 per cent against her Reformist Bloc rival Yordan Yordanov’s 49 per cent. But, as noted, the picture later reversed to suggest that the bloc’s Yordanov had won.
In Vidin, the race was between Rositsa Kirova, backed by the United for Change local coalition, against Ognyan Tsenkov of GERB. The race was won by GERB’s Tsenkov, initial exit polls said.
Some results were very close, according to the first exit polls, with a difference of one per cent or less – in Dobrich, Vratsa, Pernik and Lovech. In Vratsa, two hours after voting end, differing reports either had claimed victory for GERB or for the BSP.
Countrywide, voter turnout was estimated at 33.38 per cent by 5pm on November 1, compared with 53.6 per cent in the October 25 first round.
The exit polls at the close of voting on November 1 showed the following results in mayoral elections in cities:
In Plovdiv, Ivan Totev (GERB) 54.9 per cent, defeating Slavcho Atanassov (Patriotic Front).
In Pleven, Georgi Spartanski (Reformist Bloc) 59.3 per cent, defeating Dimitar Stoikov (GERB).
In Sliven, Stefan Radev (GERB) 55 per cent, defeating Kolyo Milev (Bulgarian Socialist Party).
In Dobrich, Detelina Nikolova (GERB) 51 per cent, defeating Yordan Yordanov (Reformist Bloc).
In Shoumen, Lyubomir Hristov (GERB) 65.6 per cent, defeating Ivan Ivanov (BSP).
In Haskovo, Dobri Belivanov (GERB) 70.9 per cent, defeating Georgi Ivanov (Coalition for Haskovo).
In Vidin, Ognyan Tsenkov (GERB) 53.7 per cent, defeating Rositsa Kirova (United for Change).
In Vratsa, Nikolai Ivanov (BSP) 51 per cent, defeating Kalin Kamenov (GERB).
In Pernik, Vyara Tserovska (GERB) 51 per cent, defeating Erik Rangelov (BSP).
In Lovech, Mincho Kazandzhiev (BSP) 50.5 per cent, defeating Kornelia Marinova (GERB).
In Pazardzhik, Todor Popov (independent) 55 per cent, defeating Naiden Shopov (GERB).
In Silistra, Yulian Naidenov (GERB), 52 per cent, defeating Alexander Sabanov (local coalition).
In Turgovishte, Darin Dimitrov (GERB) 52 per cent, defeating Emine Akubova (Movement for Rights and Freedoms).
- At the first round on October 25, there were decisive results in mayoral elections in 13 cities: Sofia (GERB), Varna (GERB), Bourgas (GERB), Rousse (GERB), Veliko Turnovo (GERB), Gabrovo (GERB), Kurdzhali (Movement for Rights and Freedoms) Kyustendil (Coalition for Kyustendil), Montana (a local coalition supported by the Reformist Bloc), Stara Zagora (GERB), Blagoevgrad (GERB), Smolyan (GERB) and Yambol (GERB).