Cable television presenter Slavi Trifonov’s ITN party, which won the largest share of the vote in Bulgaria’s July elections, has lost seven percentage points in support – relegating it to a distant second place behind Boiko Borissov’s GERB-UDF coalition, according to a poll by Alpha Research.
The poll, the results of which were released on September 17, sees GERB-UDF in first place with 21.1 per cent support among those intending to vote in Bulgaria’s November 14 early parliamentary elections, down from the 23.5 per cent share of the vote it got in July.
But Trifonov’s ITN is down to 16.9 per cent support, it contrast to the 24.1 per cent share of the vote it got in July.
As the group with the largest share of the vote in July, ITN was handed the first chance to seek to get a government elected. It scuppered that attempt, while the ensuing two exploratory mandates – that went, respectively, to GERB and the Bulgarian Socialist Party, proved fruitless, leading to the calling of Bulgaria’s third parliamentary elections this year.
Alpha Research said that voter attitudes at the beginning of September could be seen as a direct sanction by voters to the overall behaviour of the parties in the (now-defunct) 46th National Assembly, and in particular to the responsibility and competence shown in attempts to form a government.
ITN suffered the most, with the highest unfulfilled expectations, and while GERB-UDF had not increased its result, it had managed to largely retain its strong supporters.
The Bulgarian Socialist Party, which undertook many attempts at compromise in the quest to form a government, increased its score to 16.5 per cent, from 12.6 per cent in July, now almost catching up with ITN, the agency said.
A short distance behind the BSP and ITN was the Democratic Bulgaria coalition, consolidating its position since July, with 13.2 per cent, up from the 12.6 per cent it got in July.
The Movement for Rights and Freedoms retained its traditional position, at 9.6 per cent, after winning 10.7 per cent of the vote in July.
The “Rise Up Bulgaria! We’re Coming” coalition is now just above the four per cent threshold for election to the next National Assembly, at 4.1 per cent, after the five per cent share that it won in July and which made it Parliament’s smallest group.
The nationalist Vuzrazhdane party is just below that threshold, at 3.5 per cent, having won three per cent in July.
Alpha Research said that of those polled, 38 per cent think that the next Parliament will succeed in electing a government, while 28 per cent believe that it will not. This is sharply down from the agency’s July poll, when 60 per cent believed that Parliament would elect a government.
As to the political project involving former caretaker ministers Kiril Petkov and Assen Vassilev, the agency said that it could mean a “few tremors” for current political groups. The new project could result in “Rise Up Bulgaria! We’re Coming” not getting into Parliament, would intensify the erosion of ITN and possibly result in Trifonov’s party falling to third or fourth place, while it interrupted the upward trend of Democratic Bulgaria.
It could also take away some votes from the “systemic parties” – GERB, the BSP and the MRF.
But Alpha Research cautioned that while public attitudes were extremely fluid “any definite conclusion is risky”.
“Only when the new party comes to light, with its demands, faces and a clear field of competition with other political forces, will it be possible to assess the real parameters of its potential,” the agency said.
According to Alpha Research, at the point that the 46th National Assembly was dissolved, 51.7 per cent of those eligible to vote said that they would vote in the next parliamentary elections, while 55.4 per cent would vote in the presidential elections, also being held on November 15.
Alpha Research said that its survey, one in a regular quarterly series, was done between September 8 and 15 among a nationally representative sample of 1017 adult citizens, interviewed face-to-face in their homes, with tablets being used to record responses. Two-stage sampling was used, stratified by region and type of settlement, with selection of respondents by quota based on gender, age and education.
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