Bulgaria’s quadripartite coalition government headed by Prime Minister Kiril Petkov has begun its term with an approval rating of 35 per cent, the highest for any government since 2009, according to the findings of a poll by Alpha Research, released on February 17.
The government has a 23 per cent disapproval rating while the remaining 42 per cent of those polled were undecided.
Petkov’s government came into office in December 2021, and involves the We Continue the Change (WCC) party which he co-leads, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), Slavi Trifonov’s ITN party and the Democratic Bulgarian coalition.
Support for the government is highest among WCC voters (66 per cent), drops to 50 per cent among BSP supporters, while among ITN and Democratic Bulgaria voters, is in the 33 to 36 per cent range.
Asked whether the government was composed mainly of competent people and professionals, 39 per cent of those polled said yes, 41 per cent said no and 20 per cent were undecided.
Asked whether this government was ending the practice of benefitting people close to the government, 34 per cent said yes.
Alpha Research said that President Roumen Radev had begun his second term in office with an approval rating of 51 per cent and a disapproval rating of 23 per cent, making the presidency the most-approved institution in Bulgaria.
Radev’s support comes mainly from three parties: WCC 78 per cent, BSP 91 per cent and ITN 67 per cent.
The agency said that the level of approval for Radev among the electorate of the ruling majority far exceeded their support for their own government.
The exception was among supporters of Democratic Bulgaria, whose trust in the government and the president was roughly the same, and lower – in the 36 to 38 per cent range.
Prosecutor-General Ivan Geshev – whose ouster from that office is sought by the ruling majority – has a disapproval rating of 56 per cent, while 36 are undecided and his approval rating is eight per cent.
Petkov’s personal approval rating is 39 per cent, disapproval 21 per cent, with 40 per cent undecided.
As to support for political parties, WCC, which won the largest share of votes in the November early parliamentary elections, is holding on to its first place, with 24.4 per cent.
Boiko Borissov’s GERB party has shed four points since the November elections, and has 18.1 per cent, Alpha Research said.
The BSP has 9.8 per cent support, largely unchanged. The agency said that although party leader Kornelia Ninova had won the internal party battle, she had failed to expand support for the BSP.
The erosion of support for ITN was continuing, and Trifonov’s party – which won the largest share of votes in the second of three parliamentary elections in 2021 – now had just 6.6 per cent.
Support for Democratic Bulgaria was unchanged compared with the most recent elections, at 6.4 per cent.
Alpha Research said that 40 per cent of Bulgarians polled had a positive attitude towards Nato, compared with 34 per cent negative.
Supporters of Democratic Bulgaria (63 per cent) and GERB (62 per cent) had the most positive attitudes towards Nato, while supporters of WCC and ITN were just below the national average.
As is usual, among BSP supporters, negative opinions towards Nato predominate – 38 per cent to 28 per cent.
Among supporters of pro-Kremlin Vuzrazhdane – the smallest group in the current National Assembly, with 13 MPs out of 240 – 65 per cent are against Nato.
Alpha Research said that these attitudes were reflected in differing views about how Bulgaria should act amid the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
Twenty-eight per cent believed that to guarantee Bulgaria’s national security, the country should strengthen its integration in Nato, while 17 per cent said that Bulgaria should leave Nato.
The poll was done from February 6 to 14 among 1060 adult citizens from all over Bulgaria, through a direct standardised interview using tablets, and with quotas for gender, age and level of education. Alpha Research paid for the poll itself.
(Photo of Petkov: government.bg)
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