About 57.5 per cent of Bulgarians want to see a new government formed, while 30.4 per cent want the country to hold another parliamentary election, according to a poll by Alpha Research for public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television’s weekly talk show Referendum.
The National Assembly elected on April 4 will hold its first sitting on April 15, with all eyes on the possible formation of a government.
GERB leader Boiko Borissov, whose party got the largest share of votes, will not have sufficient support in the new National Assembly for any government nominated by him to be voted into office.
The Alpha Research poll found that 68.1 per cent of Bulgarians saw the most immediate priority for a new government as health care. In second place was judicial reform and in third, economic recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.
Separately, a poll by Alpha Research commissioned by the Media Programme South East Europe of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung found that more than half of the Bulgarians believe that they have been kept well-informed by the media during the parliamentary election campaign in April.
Most voters have followed the news on TV. At the same time the influence of the social media and online news portals has been on the rise.
The political communication of the parties is regarded as insufficient and incomprehensible.
One in two respondents criticised the one-sided communication by many politicians in the social media.
More than 50 per cent of the Bulgarians are satisfied with the information they received from the media during the parliamentary election campaign. They believe to be well and very well-informed. In turn, about 30 per cent of the respondents claimed that they would like to be better informed.
Just less than nine per cent of the respondents said that the media influenced their voting decision in contrast to almost two-thirds (61 per cent) who claimed that the information presented in the media did not make them change their decision.
Television has remained the most popular source of information during the election campaign.
Private television stations were preferred by about 59 per cent of the respondents, followed by Bulgarian National Television, preferred by 44 per cent.
The social media (33 per cent) and online news portals (17 per cent) come next.
Print media were the source of information for only three per cent of the respondents.
The coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing restrictions interfered with the organisation of public events and discussions, meaning that direct contact with voters was missing. This situation contributed to the political communication taking place to a large extent in the media. However, the political parties did not avail themselves of this opportunity.
Only one in three (about 35 per cent) were very or to a large extent satisfied with the communication of the politicians, while almost half of the respondents have criticised the information presented by the parties during the election campaign, what is more, the majority of the latter (27 per cent) claim that the parties informed the public in a poor and incomprehensible manner.
The growingly one-sided communication of some politicians who ran their election campaign entirely in the social media was received with incomprehension. More than half of the respondents (56 per cent) were convinced that it is only the traditional media that can succeed in playing the important role of an intermediary between the voters and the parties. Asking questions and comparing points of views is what reporters do.
Almost 27 per cent shared their concern that the predominant use of the social media can be dangerous because it promotes the spread of fake news, manipulation and compromising information.
“Democracy thrives in an environment of open competition and freely expressed opinions and arguments. That is why it is not beneficial when politicians disseminate one-sidedly their opinion via the social media”, Hendrik Sittig, Head of the Media Programme South East Europe of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung said.
“I’m glad, however that so many Bulgarians criticise this failure and thus recognise the importance of independent journalism.”
The findings were presented on April 14 by Boriana Dimitrova, director of Alpha Research during an online discussion held by the Media Programme South East Europe of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung.
(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)
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