A few months after Bulgaria’s March 2017 early parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s centre-right GERB party has 25.7 per cent support and Kornelia Ninova’s opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party 19.6 per cent, according to a poll by Alpha Research.
The poll, done in conjunction with television station Nova Televizia, was carried out between June 12 and 22 among 1024 adult Bulgarians, through direct interviews at their homes.
The Alpha Research poll found that in third place were the nationalist United Patriots (6.3 per cent), followed by the opposition Movement for Rights and Freedoms (5.2 per cent). In the current National Assembly, the United Patriots is the third-largest parliamentary group and the MRF the fourth-largest.
According to the poll, Vesselin Mareshki’s populist Volya party – which is Parliament’s smallest group, with 12 MPs – is just below the four per cent threshold for election to the National Assembly, at 3.7 per cent.
The centre-right Reformist Bloc has 2.7 per cent, Hristo Ivanov’s pro-judicial reform Yes Bulgaria 1.5 per cent, and right-wing splinter party New Republic 0.6 per cent.
Of those polled, 5.4 per cent were shared among various other parties, while 29.3 per cent of respondents said that they would not vote.
According to Alpha Research, the BSP’s failure to win the March early elections, and internal tensions in the party, were putting a halt to the electoral support gains that the party made after socialist-backed Roumen Radev’s victory in the November 2016 presidential elections.
There were notable differences in approval of the three co-leaders of the United Patriots, the grouping of far-right and ultra-nationalist parties that is the minority partner in the third Borissov government.
Krassimir Karakachanov had the most support, 28 per cent, while Valeri Simeonov had 13 per cent and Volen Siderov just less than seven per cent.
Support for the MRF was stable, as was that for its leader Mustafa Karadaya, six per cent.
Confidence in Mareshki’s party – which campaigned ahead of the election on a platform of decreased fuel and pharmacy prices, businesses in which Mareshki specialises – was gradually dropping, the Alpha Research poll found.
Support for the right-wing and reformist parties that failed to gain seats in the March elections – the Reformist Bloc, Yes Bulgaria and New Republic – was remaining unchanged, meaning that if elections were held now, none would win seats.
(Photo of Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov and German chancellor Angela Merkel on June 23 2017: boykoborisov.bg)