Bulgaria’s 2021 presidential elections: Incumbent Radev takes 23-point lead – exit poll

Bulgaria’s incumbent President Roumen Radev won the largest share of the vote in the first round of presidential elections on November 14, 22.6 percentage points ahead of Sofia University rector Professor Anastas Gerdzhikov, according to an exit poll by Alpha Research released soon after voting ended at 8pm.

Radev, who is running for a second five-year term as an independent candidate but was endorsed by several parties, received 49.1 per cent and Gerdzhikov, also on the ballot as an independent but backed by former prime minister Boiko Borissov’s GERB-UDF coalition, had 26.5 per cent.

If the exit polls figures are confirmed by official results, Radev and Gerdzhikov will meet in a run-off on November 21.

Radev could still win re-election if final results show him receiving more than 50 per cent of the vote and turnout exceeds 50 per cent. Alpha Research estimated voter turnout at 38.9 per cent..

Exit polls put ethnic Turk Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) leader Mustafa Karadayi in a distant third place, with 9.8 per cent.

In fourth, Supreme Court of Cassation president Lozan Panov, running as an independent candidate and endorsed by the Democratic Bulgaria coalition, had 4.6 per cent. Pro-Russian Vuzrazhdane leader Kostadin Kostadinov was fifth with 3.4 per cent.

Alpha research exit poll said that the remaining candidates received a combined 4.6 per cent. The “I don’t support anyone” option got two per cent of the vote, according to Alpha Research’s exit-poll.

A total of 23 candidates ran in the November 14 2021 presidential election, the largest number of candidates in a presidential election in Bulgaria since the country began direct democratic elections of its head of state.

For Alpha Research’s exit poll results regarding Bulgaria’s November 2021 presidential elections, please see The Sofia Globe’s story here.

The exit poll results reflect only voting within Bulgaria. For further details about Bulgaria’s November 2021 elections, please see The Sofia Globe’s election factfile.

(Alpha Research exit poll after voting closed on November 14 2021. Screengrab from Bulgarian National Television.)

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