Bulgaria’s July elections: ITN 21.8%, GERB-UDF 21.5% – Alpha Research poll

Slavi Trifonov’s ITN party has 21.8 per cent support and Boiko Borissov’s GERB-UDF coalition 21.5 per cent, according to a poll by Alpha Research, the results of which were released on July 8.

With the official campaign period ahead of Bulgaria’s July 11 early parliamentary elections almost over, the Bulgarian Socialist Party has 16.4 per cent, Democratic Bulgaria 12 per cent, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms 11.1 per cent and “Rise Up! Mobsters Out!” 5.4 per cent.

Just below the four per cent threshold to win seats in the 46th National Assembly is the ultra-nationalist “Bulgarian Patriots” coalition of VMRO, the National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria and Volya with 3.8 per cent, according to the Alpha Research poll. Pro-Russian Vuzrazhdane has 3.2 per cent support.

Between 47 per cent and 50 per cent of adult citizens surveyed said they were ready to vote in Sunday’s election. This means that between 3.1 million and 3.3 million people will go to the polls, the agency said.

A mobilizing factor is the desire of each of the two main groups of voters – on the one hand, GERB supporters, on the other, the protest parties – to determine the direction of the country’s development and to form a government around their political forces.

Concerns about machine voting work in the opposite direction, which could become a potential barrier for some voters.

About 15.4 per cent of all respondents said they had concerns about machine voting, and 11.8 per cent about possible queues in front of polling stations as a result of slower voting.

The new method of voting would have the most serious impact on BSP voters, of which one in four, and of the MRF, of which one in three, expressed concern about this vote.

Twelve percent suspect that there will be manipulation of the election results.

Concerns about Covid-19 infection have significantly decreased, to 7.8 per cent.

At the end of the election campaign, the survey found increased competition for first place between GERB and ITN.

After a decline and retreat in the ranks of GERB, registered at the beginning of the campaign, there is some mobilisation at the campaign’s end.

ITN took advantage of the momentum of its breakthrough in the April 4th elections and managed to attract a significant part of the protest vote for smaller parties which have no chance of parliamentary representation, as well as part of the wider periphery of GERB.

As a result, ITN has reached a support of 21.8 per cent, which gives it a photo finish advantage over GERB.

Continued mobilisation of GERB supporters may reverse this trend, Alpha Research said, adding that on the other hand, the inclusion of more youth, emotional voting, as well as voting from abroad, could provide an advantage to ITN.

The BSP definitely improved its position during the campaign, the agency said.

The mobilisation of BSP voters, as well as the desire of left-wing supporters to use their vote, have limited the outflow of votes to competing left-wing formations.

The BSP has every chance of improving its result from April 4.

However, a risk to BSP support is the high share of voters embarrassed that they may not be able to operate the voting machines and may not go to the polling stations.

At the moment, Democratic Bulgaria is fourth with 12 per cent of those who have firmly decided to vote.

It has strengthened its position since the beginning of the campaign, and an important factor for its result will again be the vote from abroad.

The MRF is in a similar situation. The key to the final result and the ratio between the two formations will be the vote from abroad, which the national survey cannot take into account.

Alpha Research said that “Rise Up! Mobsters Out!” has a high degree of voter exchange with ITN, and people were holding off until the last days of the campaign which of the two to vote for.

Ten per cent of those who say that they will vote say that they will decide which party to support in the days remaining to the election.

Again, there is no party that has a majority or is close to a majority to form a government.

Even though their positions have improved, the “protest parties” – ITN, Democratic Bulgaria and “Rise Up! Mobsters Out!” would not together have 120 MPs.

The poll was done between July 4 and 7 by Alpha Research, which used its own funds. The poll findings are on the agency’s website. The survey was done among 1, 13 adult citizens from all over the country. A stratified two-stage sample with a quota on the main socio-demographic characteristics was used. The information was gathered through a direct standardised interview using tablets in the homes of the respondents. Alpha Research is responsible for the data and interpretation published on its website, but not for the selective or manipulative use of such data.

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