The disapproval ratings of Bulgaria’s coalition government and Prime Minister Kiril Petkov have more than doubled since February, according to a poll by Alpha Research, the results of which were released on April 18.
The government’s disapproval rating in February was 23 per cent and now is 48 per cent, while its approval rating has fallen from 35 per cent to 19 per cent.
Petkov’s disapproval rating, 21 per cent in February, is now 48 per cent and his approval rating has slid from 39 per cent to 23 per cent.
The poll found that the trend of declining approval of the government had deepened further after the public disputes among the coalition partners.
Expectations among the Bulgarian public that the Cabinet would be able to control the current crises are predominantly pessimistic.
Along party lines, approval of the government is highest among supporters of the Kiril Petkov-Assen Vassilev We Continue the Change (WCC) party, at 70 per cent.
Among supporters of the Democratic Bulgaria coalition, it is 51 per cent, and among supporters of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, 38 per cent.
Only 25 per cent of supporters of Slavi Trifonov’s ITN party – which has tangled with other ruling majority partners on issues including the election of a central bank governor and payment for road repairs – approve of the government.
The Alpha Research poll found that 46 per cent of Bulgarians were pessimistic about the government being able to overcome the current crises.
Twenty-eight per cent believed that the Cabinet would be able to curb corruption, 26 per cent that it would cope with rising inflation, 22 per cent that it would be able to modernise the economy and 20 per cent that it would be able to implement judicial reform.
Nineteen per cent believe that the coalition will find the right solution to Bulgaria’s dispute with North Macedonia, while 17 per cent expect that the government would be able to provide alternatives to energy supplies from Russia.
The poll found that support for the four parties in the ruling majority was wavering, GERB supporters were consolidating and there was a mobilisation of a radical vote.
Among those who would vote, 21.7 per cent support Boiko Borissov’s GERB. Although he remains one of the most widely criticised party leaders, Borissov retains the confidence of 19.1 per cent of adult Bulgarians.
In second place is WCC, with 18.4 per cent, a loss of six points in the past two months.
Third is the Bulgarian Socialist Party, with 10.2 per cent, largely retaining the support it had in the most recent parliamentary elections. BSP leader Kornelia Ninova has an approval rating of 18.3 per cent.
The pro-Kremlin Vuzhrazhdane party, the smallest group in the current Parliament, has benefitted from the mobilisation of a radical vote, and now is in fourth place, with 9.4 per cent. Its leader, Kostadin Kostadinov, has an approval rating of 17.3 per cent.
Alpha Research said that the Movement for Rights and Freedoms had its customary 7.6 per cent support for a non-electoral period, while MRF leader Mustafa Karadayi had an approval rating of 9.4 per cent.
The agency said that the Democratic Bulgaria coalition had been less affected by the negative tendencies towards the government, with their support stable at 6.7 per cent.
Approval for the leaders of the three constituent parties of Democratic Bulgaria varied: Hristo Ivanov 15.8 per cent, Vladislav Panev 8.5 per cent and Atanas Atanassov 7.1 per cent.
Trifonov’s ITN party shed 2.1 points compared with February, and currently has 4.5 per cent, above the four per cent threshold to win a share of seats in Parliament. Trifonov’s approval rating is 13.5 per cent.
Of those polled, 8.9 per cent would vote for a party other than one of the seven currently in Parliament, while 12.6 per cent said that they would vote, but had not decided for which party.
As to the war in Ukraine, 46 per cent of those polled said that they followed the news about it daily, 38 per cent said that they were generally interested in the topic, while only 16 per cent were not interested.
The erosion of Vladimir Putin’s approval rating in Bulgaria was continuing.
After Putin’s approval rating in Bulgaria fell to 32 per cent in the early days of the war, it was now 25 per cent, while his disapproval rating was 61 per cent.
Sixty-three per cent of those polled said that Bulgaria’s place in the changing world was in alliance with other EU and Nato member states, while 15 per cent said that Bulgaria’s place was with Russia and the countries around it.
The poll was one in a series of regular surveys by Alpha Research. It was done between April 8 and 14, among 1037 adult Bulgarian citizens from all over the country, through a direct standardised interview using tables. It was two-stage, stratified by region and type of settlement, with quotas for gender, age and education. The poll was done using Alpha Research’s own funds.
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