Boiko Borissov’s centre-right GERB party has 26.1 per cent support and the Bulgarian Socialist Party 24.9 per cent support, according to the results of a poll done by the Exacta Research Group at the end of December 2016, the results of which were released on January 10.
The poll was done between December 27 and 30, among 1000 adult Bulgarians countrywide. The questions were posed a few weeks after the National Assembly voted to accept the resignation of Borissov’s government, which he tabled after the GERB candidate Tsetska Tsacheva’s defeat in Bulgaria’s November 2016 presidential elections.
As Bulgaria heads towards early elections, probably some time between late March and early April 2017, the Exacta poll results said that the third-largest political force was the nationalist “United Patriots”.
The United Patriots is a coalition of the Patriotic Front – in turn made up of Valeri Simeonov’s National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria and Krassimir Karakachanov’s VMRO – and Volen Siderov’s Ataka, supported by a number of extra-parliamentary far-right and ultra-nationalist minority parties.
According to Exacta, the United Patriots had 10.5 per cent support.
In fourth place was the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, at just more than four per cent.
Below the four per cent threshold for entry into Bulgaria’s Parliament were the centre-right Reformist Bloc (3.5 per cent), businessman Vesselin Mareshki’s party (3.3 per cent) and Radan Kanev’s Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria (2.1 per cent).
One in four of those polled by Exacta said that Bulgaria needed a new centre-right project while 63 per cent said that the Reformist Bloc could not continue in its current format.
The poll was done before the January constituent meeting of former justice minister Hristo Ivanov’s “Yes Bulgaria” party, which has judicial reform and the fight against corruption as central to its policies.
Exacta’s poll found that Ivanov had an approval rating of 14 per cent.
Borissov has an approval rating of 43 per cent, BSP leader Kornelia Ninova has an approval rating of 27 per cent and Karakachanov has an approval rating of 35 per cent.
(Photo of the National Assembly building in Sofia: (c) Clive Leviev-Sawyer)