Ahead of Bulgaria’s April elections, Alpha Research poll shows WCC-DB, GERB-UDF neck-and-neck

The results of a poll by Alpha Research released on March 1 show the We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria electoral coalition with 26.4 per cent support among those who intend voting, while Boiko Borissov’s GERB-UDF has 25.2 per cent support.

The poll results were released two days before the start of the official campaign period ahead of Bulgaria’s April 2 2023 early parliamentary elections, which will be the fifth time in two years that the country’s voters elected a legislature.

According to the poll, in third place is the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (13.2 per cent), followed by pro-Russian party Vuzrazhdane (11.3 per cent) and the Bulgarian Socialist Party (7.4 per cent).

Currently below the four per cent threshold required to win a share of seats in the National Assembly are Stefan Yanev’s Bulgaria Ascending (3.8 per cent), The Left (3.6 per cent) and Slavi Trifonov’s ITN (3.2 per cent).

Alpha Research commented that the WCC-Democratic Bulgaria electoral coalition had a symbolic initial lead over GERB, but their percentage remained below their collective results in the October 2 2022 early parliamentary elections.

With low turnout looming, and depending on the campaign, it was possible for a relatively small number of votes to swing the result in either direction, the polling agency said.

According to Alpha Research, WCC-Democratic Bulgaria currently enjoys the support of the most motivated supporters of its two constituent formations and could improve their position if they manage to attract younger and less politically aware voters, who traditionally decide whether and for whom to vote in the final days of the campaign.

Some of the staunch supporters of GERB-UDF, mostly residents of regional cities, had not yet gathered sufficient incentive to go to the polls on April 2, the agency said.

How each of the formations copes with these challenges will determine which gets the most votes, making it the recipient of the first mandate to seek to form a government.

Vuzrazhdane stood out as one of the few formations that was managing to mobilise support between the October and April elections, Alpha Research said.

The Bulgarian Socialist Party was showing, even at this early stage, a clear drop in electoral support. Alpha Research attributed this to infighting in the BSP, and said that the outflow of voters was mainly to The Left, but also to Vuzrazhdane and Bulgaria Ascending.

The poll found that 50 per cent of Bulgarians did not want a coalition government of WCC-Democratic Bulgaria and GERB-UDF.

Such a coalition was supported by a mere five per cent of Bulgarians of voting age, while a further 28 per cent thought of it as a possible compromise, expressing moderate approval of the idea.

GERB supporters were more inclined to support the idea, while most WCC-Democratic Bulgaria supporters distanced themselves from it.

MRF, Bulgaria Ascending and ITN voters were largely neutral about the idea, while the firmest opponents were those who supported the BSP and Vuzrazhdane, the poll found.

“By all accounts, however, it seems that the solution to the political crisis will not come from the voters, but from the ability of the party leaders to convince them of the correctness of their ensuing actions,” Alpha Resarch said.

The poll was done from February 21 to 27 2023 by Alpha Research, which paid for the poll itself. The poll was done among 1007 adult citizens from all over Bulgaria. The method involved two-stage sampling, stratified by region and type of settlement, with quotas based on the main socio-demographic characteristics. 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.

(Photo: parliament.bg)

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