Bulgaria’s April elections: GERB-UDF 25.9%, WCC-DB 25.4% – Alpha Research poll

The results of a poll by the Alpha Research agency released on the eve of the end of the campaign period ahead of Bulgaria’s April 2 early parliamentary elections show a close contest for first place.

Winning first place means getting the first mandate to seek to form a government.

According to the poll, among those who intend to vote on Sunday, Boiko Borissov’s GERB-UDF coalition has 25.9 per cent support and the We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria (WCC-DB) electoral coalition 25.4 per cent.

Also in a close contest are the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF), 13.8 per cent, and pro-Russian party Vuzrazhdane, 13.6 per cent.

Kornelia Ninova’s Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) has 8.2 per cent.

Just below the four per cent threshold for a share of seats in the 49th National Assembly is Stefan Yanev’s Bulgaria Ascending, at 3.9 per cent.

The Left electoral coalition has 3.1 per cent and Slavi Trifonov’s ITN 2.3 per cent.

Alpha Research commented that party messages, aimed mainly at hard party electorates, were failing to motivate a wider range of voters to go to the polls.

“Thus, the competition is reduced to a battle ‘for a few percent more’, which cannot radically change either the political picture in the country or the composition of the 49th National Assembly,” the pollsters said.

Thirty-nine per cent of eligible voters intend voting on April 2 – in what will be Bulgaria’s fifth parliamentary elections in two years – while a further 13 per cent are still undecided, possibly making a decision on election day itself.

The return of paper ballots does not seem to have a strong impact on voters, the agency said.

“A much more serious factor appears to be the growing distrust in politicians and their ability to make effective governance decisions, which determines the remaining low willingness to vote.”

GERB has higher support in the country, and WCC-DB – a larger electoral periphery, especially in capital city Sofia. 

“It may turn out that Sofia will decide the elections,” Alpha Research said.

The agency said that if WCC-DB mobilises its periphery with a strong final sprint, which they have shown they can do, they will win first place. If they fail, GERB will retain its first place from the previous elections.

If there is a clear trend in the campaign, however, it is the growth in support for Vuzrazhdane – attracting both those disenchanted with similar parties and a certain penalty vote against the parties that failed to form a government.

“Bulgaria Ascending and The Left have a theoretical chance to break the per cent barrier, but the vote will depend to a very large extent on their ability to convince their voters ‘why it is worth going to the polls’,” Alpha Research said.

The poll was done from March 25-29 2023. by Alpha Research, is published on the agency’s website and was carried out using its own funds. The poll was done among 1013 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 standardised 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: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)

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