Bulgaria’s local elections: Alpha Research poll shows Fandukova with very narrow lead in Sofia mayoral race

Results of a poll by the Alpha Research agency released on October 9 show incumbent Sofia mayor and GERB candidate Yordanka Fandukova with a very narrow lead over her main rival, former national Ombudsman Maya Manolova.

Bulgaria goes to the polls in mayoral and municipal elections on October 27. Where results are inconclusive, a second round will be held on November 3. In the mayoral race in capital city Sofia, there are 20 candidates.

Alpha Research’s poll showed Fandukova, who is seeking a fourth term as mayor, with 36.3 per cent support and Manolova, who is backed by the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party and a range of minor parties, at 34.6 per cent.

In third place, at some distance, is the Sofia mayoral candidate from the reformist Democratic Bulgaria, Borislav Ignatov, with 10.7 per cent.

MEP Angel Dzhambazki, the mayoral candidate of the ultra-nationalist VMRO party, has 6.9 per cent and Boris Bonev, best known for his work with the Spasi Sofia (“Save Sofia”) NGO, 4.8 per cent.

Alpha Research said that the remaining candidates collectively had 6.7 per cent.

The poll found that Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s centre-right GERB party was ahead of the BSP, with 32.1 per cent to 21.4 per cent, not enough for a sole majority in the next Sofia city council.

Democratic Bulgaria had 15.5 per cent, which was likely to increase, given the tendency seen in Bulgaria’s May 2019 European Parliament elections for their electorate to mobilise in the final days before the election.

Of those polled, 45.3 per cent intended voting, about four points higher than in the equivalent poll in Bulgaria’s most recent scheduled mayoral and municipal elections in 2015. The figure was likely to increase, as a result of strong candidates and the genuine contest between them, Alpha Research said.

The plus for Fandukova was that GERB voters were remaining in support of her, while the plus for Manolova was that she was managing to expand the traditional BSP vote by close to 10 per cent, the polling agency said.

The poll was carried out between October 3 and 7 2019 by Alpha Research, posted on the agency’s website and was done using its own resources. The poll was conducted among 801 adult residents of Sofia who have the right to vote in the municipal elections. A stratified two-tailed quota sample using the main socio-demographic characteristics was used. The information was collected through direct standardised interview at the homes of the respondents.

(Photo montage: Manolova, left, and Fandukova)



The Sofia Globe staff

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