The Bulgarian government has an approval rating of 30 per cent, down from 31 per cent a year ago, according to the results of a poll by the Exacta research firm released on April 4 2016.
Prime Minister Boiko Borissov has a 44 per cent approval rating, up from 43 per cent a year ago, going by a comparison of Exacta’s poll results.
The March 2016 approval rating of Borissov’s coalition government, formed in November 2014, is two per cent higher than in February 2016.
Among supporters of his centre-right GERB party, the largest in Bulgaria’s National Assembly, Borissov has 92 per cent support while 73 per cent of GERB party supporters approve of the work of the coalition Cabinet.
The strongest support for Borissov comes from people younger than 60, while the strongest support for the Cabinet comes from people younger than 40, with above-average income and living in Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia.
The most popular politician in Bulgaria is Sofia mayor Yordanka Fandukova, with 62 per cent. Fandukova is in her third term as mayor of the capital city, having been elected on a GERB ticket.
Borissov’s 44 per cent approval rating puts the Prime Minister second behind the Sofia mayor. In third place is Regional Development and Public Works Minister Liliyana Pavlova (GERB) with 42 per cent, Deputy Prime Minister and Labour and Social Policy Minister Ivailo Kalfin (of minority socialist party ABC), also with 42 per cent, and in fifth place, the Deputy Prime Minister in charge of EU funds, Tomislav Donchev (GERB).
If only Cabinet ministers are counted, Pavlova has the highest approval rating, followed by Kalfin, then Donchev, and then Culture Minister Vezhdi Rashidov (35.8 per cent), Sports Minister Krassen Kralev (31.3 per cent) and Health Minister Petar Moskov (27.2 per cent).
Moskov’s approval rating dropped five per cent in a month, mainly because of a loss of support among GERB voters. Moskov is from coalition government minority partner the Reformist Bloc. Though he is from Radan Kanev’s Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria party, Moskov remained in the Cabinet when Kanev led the DSB into opposition. Moskov recently has been targeted in protests by doctors against health care reforms that he has piloted.
Head of state President Rossen Plevneliev has a 31 per cent approval rating, unchanged in the past month, and a disapproval rating of 51 per cent, a four per cent improvement compared with last month.
Bulgaria is to hold presidential elections in late October or early November 2016. Borissov’s GERB party has not announced who its candidate will be, having repeatedly signalled that it is considering candidates other than Plevneliev, who won the November 2011 presidential elections on a GERB ticket and is constitutionally eligible for re-election, though he has made no statement about whether he will be a candidate in autumn 2016, beyond a broad hint that he might not.
Bulgaria’s unicameral Parliament, the National Assembly, currently has an approval rating of 15 per cent, down from 18 per cent a year ago.
In a consistent pattern lasting many years, the institutions with the lowest approval ratings were Bulgaria’s courts and prosecutors, now shown by Exacta’s latest poll as having an approval rating of 10 per cent, down from 13 to 14 per cent a year ago.
Among institutions in Bulgaria, the only one to record an approval rating higher than its disapproval rating was the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.
In a country where the majority of the population declare themselves to be Orthodox Christians, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church had a 46 per cent approval rating, against a 21 per cent disapproval rating. The approval rating of the head of the church, Patriarch Neofit, elected to that position on February 24 2013, matched that of the church as a whole, according to Exacta.
Exacta conducted its survey, which was self-funded, among 1000 adult Bulgarians between March 17 and 25 2016, using two-stage cluster sampling in 89 cities and towns in Bulgaria.