Bulgaria’s November 2021 elections: GERB-UDF set for largest share of vote – Alpha Research

The results of a poll by Alpha Research released on the eve of the close of campaigning ahead of Bulgaria’s November 14 2021 early parliamentary elections show Boiko Borissov’s GERB-UDF electoral coalition as having the largest share of support, 24.1 per cent among those intending to vote.

This is slightly up from the figure in the Alpha Research poll results released at the start of the official campaign period, which showed GERB-UDF with 23.1 per cent.

There continues to be a tight contest for second place between the Kiril Petkov-Assen Vassilev We Continue the Change (WCC) party, which has 16.5 per cent, and Kornelia Ninova’s Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), which has 16 per cent.

The Alpha Research poll at the start of the campaign showed the BSP with 16.8 per cent and WCC with 15.9 per cent.

The Democratic Bulgaria coalition has 10.2 per cent support, fractionally down from 10.9 per cent at the start of the campaign.

Cable television presenter Slavi Trifonov’s ITN party, which won the largest share of votes in Bulgaria’s July 2021 early parliamentary elections, 23.7 per cent, is shown by the latest Alpha Research poll to have 9.9 per cent support, putting it in fifth place. Alpha Research’s poll at the start of the campaign had shown it to have 10.4 per cent support.

Extremely close behind ITN is the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF), with 9.8 per cent. The agency had shown the MRF to have had 9.3 per cent support at the start of the campaign.

Two contestants are shown by the latest Alpha Research poll to have got nearer to the four per cent threshold in Bulgarian electoral law for a share of seats in the National Assembly.

The pro-Russian Vuzrazhdane party, which had 2.9 per cent support at the start of the campaign, now has 3.8 per cent.

The “Rise Up Bulgaria! We’re Coming” coalition now has 3.6 per cent support, up from 3.2 per cent at the start of official election campaign period.

In a commentary on the results of the poll, Alpha Research said that GERB-UDF had managed to regain some of the voters in Sofia and major cities who had withdrawn their support from it in July.

Commenting on the contest between WCC and the BSP, Alpha Research said that the outcome of this battle would be decided not only by the ability of the two parties to mobilise their supporters, but also by situational factors.

The deterioration of the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria and the use of machine voting posed risks for the BSP, but were not a serious challenge for WCC.

WCC’s unclear ideological profile, the case of Petkov’s dual citizenship and the weaker mobilisation could have a negative effect on WCC, Alpha Research said.

Democratic Bulgaria, ITN and the MRF had results that were close to each other and it was possible that their places would change around in the days remaining before the election, the agency said.

Alpha Research said that the WCC’s emergence had caused electoral damage to all the “protest parties”.

Democratic Bulgaria, after an initial outflow of supporters, had managed to recover part of this loss, the agency said.

ITN had suffered the most serious prolonged erosion of support in recent months, Alpha said.

The MRF, in spite of its active campaign and the fact that its leader Mustafa Karadayi is standing in Bulgaria’s November 2021 presidential elections, had not achieved its usual high level of voter mobilisation.

Alpha Research said that Vuzrazhdane had partially consolidated the fragmented radical nationalist vote from the previous two parliamentary elections.

The agency said that the dynamics again showed a fragmented Parliament and difficulty in forming a ruling majority.

Five days before election day, about 47 to 48 per cent of eligible voters said that they were ready to vote, with about a quarter hesitant to go to the polls, Alpha Research said.

The mutual influences and overlaps between the presidential and parliamentary campaigns, combined with the accompanying controversies, health and socio-economic crises, had revived voters’ interest in the battle for Parliament, the agency said.

The Alpha Research poll was done from November 7 to 9 2021, using the agency’s own funds, and the results have been published on its website. The poll was done among 1017 adult citizens. A stratified two-stage sample with quotas for the main socio-demographic characteristics was used. The information was gathered through a direct standardised interview with 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.

(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)

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