Bulgaria’s 2022 elections: Poll sees six, possibly seven groups in Parliament

With just less than a month to go to Bulgaria’s October 2 2022 early parliamentary elections, the results of a poll by the Alpha Research agency suggest that were elections held now, six – and possibly seven – groups would have seats in Parliament.

The results of the poll, released on September 4 two days after the official start of campaigning, show Boiko Borissov’s GERB having 23.4 per cent support among those intending to vote, We Continue the Change (WCC) at 17.5 per cent, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) 10.9 per cent, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) 9.8 per cent, pro-Russian Vuzrazhdane 9.5 per cent, Democratic Bulgaria 7.5 per cent and former caretaker prime minister Stefan Yanev’s Bulgaria Ascending 4.2 per cent.

Just below the four per cent threshold to win a share of seats in Parliament is cable television presenter Slavi Trifonov’s ITN, at 3.9 per cent.

Alpha Research commented that GERB was showing a slight mobilisation compared with the agency’s previous opinion poll, done in June.

The decline for WCC was more significant, with support for the Kiril Petkov-Assen Vassilev party down by more than two percentage points.

“WCC may lose about 250 000 of last year’s voters, who then made their choice in favour of the new formation, but are now scattered across a wide political spectrum, both left and right,” the agency said.

Alpha Research said that the BSP and WCC were the two parties suffering the most electoral damage from the actions of the caretaker government.

The agency said that Democratic Bulgaria was moving upwards smoothly, helped by two circumstances.

One, the disillusionment of some who had voted for WCC but were now returning to Democratic Bulgaria, and two, the “radicalisation” (in the agency’s term) of WCC, against the background of which Democratic Bulgaria emerged as the party more open to dialogue and responsibility regarding the formation of a governing alternative.

The agency noted that Yanev’s Bulgaria Ascending was narrowly above the threshold for votes, but compared with June, was on a downward trend.

Asked around which party a government most likely could be formed, 26.4 per cent said GERB and 24.2 per cent WCC. Only five per cent believed that a coalition between them is possible.

The top three most important problems for people, indicated by eight out of 10 Bulgarians, were inflation (89 per cent), energy prices (86 per cent) and health care (83 per cent).

“Understandably, the highest expectations are for voters to hear the parties’ positions on these three priorities,” Alpha Research said.

Russia’s war on Ukraine, and corruption, were mentioned by about two-thirds of respondents, the agency said.

Next wee the environmental problems related to the state of dams and reservoirs, as well as irregular migration, which again became the focus of public attention after the tragic incidents in recent weeks and were a matter of concern for two-thirds of the adult Bulgarians surveyed.

Alpha Research said that Borissov started the campaign with 21.6 per cent approval and 55.5 per cent disapproval.

WCC co-leaders Petkov and Vassilev had seen their personal ratings drop sharply in just two months, the agency said.

Petkov had 18.4 per approval and Vassilev 17.8 per cent approval, while their disapproval ratings were 55-56 per cent.

Democratic Bulgaria co-leader Hristo Ivanov had an approval rating of 17.6 per cent and a disapproval rating of 49.1 per cent, BSP leader Kornelia Ninova 15.9 per cent approval and 56.5 per cent disapproval.

Vuzrazhdane leader Kostadin Kostadinov had an approval rating of 13 per cent and a disapproval rating of 56.9 per cent, and Trifonov an approval rating of 10.8 per cent and a disapproval rating of 60.5 per cent.

The only political leader with a disapproval rating higher than that of Trifonov was MRF leader Mustafa Karadayi, with a disapproval rating of 62.4 per cent and an approval rating of 9.8 per cent.

The approval rating of President Roumen Radev had dropped by five percentage points since June, to 38 per cent, while his disapproval rating has risen by three points, to 33 per cent.

(Photo: parliament.bg)

The poll was done between August 27 and September 2 2022 by Alpha Research. The agency used its own funds to do the poll, the results of which have been published on its website. The poll was done among 1117 adult citizens from all over the country. A stratified two-stage sample with a quota according to the main socio-demographic characteristics was used. The information was collected through a direct standardized interview with tablets at the homes of the respondents. Alpha Research is responsible for the data and interpretation published on its site, but not for selective or manipulative use of such data, the agency said.

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