The GERB candidate to be the next mayor of Bulgaria’s city of Plovdiv, regional governor Zdravko Dimitrov, has a 7.7 per cent lead over his main opponent, nationalist Slavcho Atanassov, according to the results of a poll by Alpha Research, released on October 21.
There are 14 candidates in the race to succeed GERB’s Ivan Totev as the next mayor of Plovdiv.
According to Alpha Research, Dimitrov has the support of 29.9 per cent of those polled, while Atanassov, the candidate of the nationalist NFSB-VMRO, has 22.2 per cent.
In third place is the Plovdiv mayoral candidate from the Bulgarian Socialist Party, Nikolai Radev, with 11.1 per cent.
Fourth is Georgi Kolev, nominated by the Agrarian Union Alexander Stamboliiski, with 7.8 per cent.
The new poll by Alpha Research shows that Dimitrov has significantly improved his lead, compared with the results of a poll by the agency just before the start of the campaign, which showed Dimitrov at 27.2 per cent and Atanassov at 23.5 per cent.
Alpha Research said that the gains made by Dimitrov were due to the GERB campaign reaching beyond the electorate of its own supporters, while Atanassov’s support has been slipping.
From the very beginning of the campaign, Dimitrov had declared himself to be the candidate for a new style of government, the agency said.
He took the risk of telling his own GERB party and the electorate that there were things in the Plovdiv government that needed to be changed. The GERB party and its constituents obviously were responding positively to Dimitrov’s messages because their mobilization around him is over 90 per cent. Obviously the careful balance between continuity and messages of change meant positives for Dimitrov, Alpha Research said.
Should the Plovdiv mayoral election go to a second round, Dimitrov would likely get the votes of those voting for Kolev and the Union for Plovdiv’s Dani Kanazireva.
Atanassov’s shedding of support was due to Radev having managed to consolidate BSP supporters and prevent them defecting to Atanassov, while Kolev had managed in just a few weeks to position himself among the significant candidates, the agency said.
At a possible second round, BSP supporters said that they would vote for Atanassov, the Alpha Research poll found.
As to seats on the Plovdiv city council, GERB now had 22.4 per cent, the BSP 10.4 per cent and the NFSB-VMRO 8.1 per cent.
The poll was commissioned and funded by Marica publishing house and carried out by Alpha Research. The survey was conducted among 1207 adult citizens in the municipality of Plovdiv between October 8 and 14. A stratified two-tailed quota sample using the main socio-demographic characteristics was used. The information was collected through direct standardised interviews at the homes of the respondents.
(Photo, of Dimitrov, left, and Atanassov: podtepeto.com)