A close-of-campaign poll by the Exacta Research Group ahead of Bulgaria’s July 11 early parliamentary elections has found that among those who intend voting, 21.4 per cent support Boiko Borissov’s GERB-UDF coalition and 20.8 per cent support Slavi Trifonov’s ITN party.
The extremely narrow gap is similar to the findings of a poll by Alpha Research, although that agency’s survey saw ITN holding a fractional lead over GERB-UDF.
Exacta said that its poll, done between July 1 and 5, found 15.8 per cent support for the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), 12.8 per cent for the Democratic Bulgaria coalition, 11.2 per cent for the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF), 4.08 per cent for the “Rise Up! Mobsters Out!” coalition and four per cent for the ultra-nationalist “Bulgarian Patriots” coalition made up of VMRO, the National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria and Volya.
The polling agency said that six days before the election, 48 per cent of Bulgarians polled said that they would vote and said that they had decided who to vote for.
A further 12 per cent were ready to vote, although as of July 5, they were hesitant about who to vote for.
The agency noted that other factors that could affect turnout were the fact that it is the holiday season, and the habit of many Bulgarians in recent years to take frequent short breaks over weekends in summer.
The electorates of GERB, BSP and MRF were more mobilised to vote than those of other parties that had a chance to enter Parliament.
Democratic Bulgaria’s and ITN’s voters had higher willingness to vote than those of “Rise Up! Mobsters Out!” Exacta said.
The agency pointed out that the poll was done within Bulgaria and did not register attitudes of voters outside the country.
Exacta’s poll found that 23 per cent of Bulgarians were worried about coping with voting using a machine. Those most worried about this were people over the age of 60 (43 per cent of them) and people were lesser levels of education (72 per cent of those who have primary education).
Overall, 45 per cent of Bulgarians approve of the introduction of machine voting, while 41 per cent oppose it.
Seven per cent of those polled said that they would change their vote at the last minute to support the likely winner.
Fifty-seven per cent of those polled by Exacta said that they expected the July 11 elections to be fair. This view is expressed largely by residents of the large cities and Democratic Bulgaria and BSP voters.
Forty-three per cent of those polled believed that the elections would not be fair. The largest share of sceptics is among “Rise Up! Mobsters Out!” voters.
Sixteen per cent of Bulgarians polled said that they were disappointed with the party that they had supported up to now, and would no longer vote for it.
The Exacta Research Group poll was done from July 1 to 5 2021 among 1005 adult Bulgarian citizens in 92 settlements across the country. The agency used a stratified two-stage sample with a quota regarding the main socio-demographic characteristics. The latest National Statistical Institute data on the population of the country, distributed by sex, age, administrative districts and types of settlements (capital, regional centres, small towns and villages) were used in preparing the sample. The sample reproduces the structure of the population by place of residence, sex and age. The registration methodology is a direct semi-standardised face to face interview. The maximum error for 50 per cent shares is +/- 3%. The survey was independent of external funding and was conducted with funds from Exacta Research Group.
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