The official campaign month ahead of Bulgaria’s March 26 2017 early parliamentary elections sees Boiko Borissov’s GERB party with a very narrow lead over Kornelia Ninova’s Bulgarian Socialist Party, according to the results of an Alpha Research poll released on February 27.
GERB had 31.5 per cent support and the BSP 29.6 per cent, according to the Alpha Research poll.
The far-right nationalist coalition the United Patriots – made up of the National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria, VMRO and Ataka – was in third place with 10.8 per cent.
Fourth was the Movement for Rights and Freedoms with 6.8 per cent, and fifth Vesselin Mareshki’s Volya with 5.7 per cent.
The Reformist Bloc was close to the four per cent threshold for election to the National Assembly, with 3.9 per cent.
Shown as below the threshold for election were the left-wing ABC-Movement 21 coalition (2.9 per cent), former justice minister Hristo Ivanov’s pro-judicial reform new coalition Yes Bulgaria with 2.6 per cent, Radan Kanev’s New Republic with 1.5 per cent.
A cluster of other parties had two per cent between them, while the “I don’t support anyone” option had 2.7 per cent support.
The Alpha Research poll was conducted before the Constitutional Court announced its decision overturning the sanction for failing to comply with the law compelling Bulgarians to vote in elections.
Close to 66 per cent of those polled said that they intended voting, which was a slight increase from January.
About 53.7 per cent already had decided for which party they would vote.
Alpha Research’s Boryana Dimitrova said on television on February 27 that for Borissov’s GERB party, the campaign emphasis was on education, health and incomes, which she described as “the new motorways” – the latter the signature issue for GERB in previous elections.
Dimitrova noted the competition between the BSP and cut-price pharmaceuticals and fuels businessman Mareshki’s over social promises. “While the BSP promises increasing incomes, he is relying on reducing prices”.
The BSP was first to make promises about education, health and incomes and had marked a breakthrough and won supporters, but GERB had regained ground in larger cities that it had lost in Bulgaria’s November 2016 presidential elections.
The ABC-Movement 21 coalition, Yes Bulgaria and New Republic were capable of surprises, Alpha Research said.
The Alpha Research poll was done between February 16 and 23 2017 among 1024 adult citizens interviewed at their homes and was financed by Alpha Research itself.