Poll: ‘Everyone to blame’ for continued stalemate in Bulgarian government talks

Fifty-one per cent of Bulgarians polled by the Market Links agency said that the blame, should Parliament fail to vote a government into office and cause fresh elections, would be shared by all political parties and President Roumen Radev. The results of the poll were released on December 30.

Boiko Borissov’s GERB-UDF coalition was the main culprit for 14 per cent of respondents, while six per cent found fault with Kiril Petkov-Assen Vassilev’s We Continue the Change (WCC) party and another six per cent held Radev responsible.

Market Links said that it was the first poll in which Radev’s disapproval exceeded his approval rating, at 41 per cent versus 40 per cent, respectively.

Although Market Links did not give any reasons for the president’s dropping approval rating, it appeared to be a consequence of Radev dragging out the constitutional process of handing out the mandates to seek to form a government to parliamentary-represented parties.

He has announced his intention to hand the second mandate to WCC on January 3, three months after Bulgaria held parliamentary elections, its fourth in less than two years.

With another snap poll widely expected in spring 2023, Market Links said that turnout could be even lower than in the October 2022 elections.

“Unfortunately, the readiness to vote is declining. At this moment, this readiness comes only from the political parties’ core supporters,” Market Links’s Dobromir Zhivkov told private broadcaster bTV.

In total, only 32 per cent of the poll’s respondents said that they had every intention to vote and 16 per cent said that they were uncertain, while 26 per cent had no intention of voting.

In terms of support for political parties, GERB-UDF was in the lead with 22.6 per cent of those intending to vote (down from 25.3 per cent won in the October election), followed by WCC on 16.2 per cent (down from 20.2 per cent), Market Links said.

Predominantly ethnic Turk Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) had 12.2 per cent (compared to 13.8 per cent in the October election), followed by pro-Russian Vuzrazhdane party on 10 per cent (down from 10.2 per cent).

Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) was fifth on 9.6 per cent (up from 9.3 per cent it won in October) and Hristo Ivanov’s Democratic Bulgaria centre-right coalition was sixth on 8.3 per cent (also up from 7.4 per cent in October).

Market Links’ poll indicated that Bulgarian Revival, the smallest party in the current National Assembly, and cable television presenter Slavi Trifonov’s ITN, a staple in the three short-lived parliaments elected in 2022, would fail to clear the four per cent parliamentary representation threshold if elections were held now, with 2.6 per cent and 2.2 per cent support, respectively.

The Market Links poll was done between December 10 and 20 among 1022 adult Bulgarians, financed and carried out jointly with bTV.

(Photo: parliament.bg)

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