Poll: Approval ratings of Bulgarian President Radev continue steady decline

The approval ratings of Bulgarian President Roumen Radev continue their steady decline, even though he retains the highest trust among the institutions, according to the findings of a poll by the Alpha Research agency, released on June 29.

In February 2022, Radev had an approval rating of 51 per cent, dropping to 43 per cent in June 2022, to 38 per cent in September, 36 per cent in December and a current 35 per cent.

Disapproval of Radev rose from 23 per cent in February 2022 to 32 per cent in June 2023.

Alpha Research said that Radev’s rating eroded significantly after his public opposition to the formation of an elected government.

For the first time since he took office, the attitude towards the head of state is strongly polarised, and support for him, wavering, the agency said.

Radev has been openly antagonistic to the formation of the current pro-Western government, even publicly calling for it not to be formed, and walking out of the National Assembly before the government took the oath of office and the Bulgarian and EU anthems were played.

The poll found that initial confidence in the Nikolai Denkov government, elected on June 6, was 20 per cent, with a high neutral rating at 43 per cent and 37 per cent mistrust.

The personal rating of Denkov was also highly polarised, at 26 per cent trust, 30 per cent mistrust and 44 per cent neutral.

Bulgaria’s 49th National Assembly, elected in April 2023, sets out with a record low rating, typical of the end rather than the beginning of a term of office, the agency said.

The National Assembly has an approval rating of eight per cent, a disapproval rating of 53 per cent, while 39 per cent of those polled were undecided.

Support for political formations showed similar proportions to that in the April 2023 parliamentary elections:

GERB-UDF 25.1 per cent (about two points less than in April);

We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria 20.2 per cent (a drop of five points);

Vuzrazhdane 15.4 per cent;

Movement for Rights and Freedoms 12.6 per cent;

Bulgarian Socialist Party 8.8 per cent;

ITN 4.1 per cent.

Alpha Research said that the high level of distrust that Ivan Geshev generated while holding the post of Prosecutor-General is reproduced in the perception of him as a potential politician. Eighty-two per cent of those polled would not trust a Geshev political formation, three per cent would trust it and 15 per cent were undecided.

Forty-eight per cent of those polled said that the government formed by the two largest coalition was not ideal, but was the best of the possible options.

Fourteen per cent believed that the government formed by GERB-UDF and WCC-DB was a betrayal of their own voters, and 13 per cent that it was harmful for the country.

The Denkov government has an approval rating of 20 per cent, 37 per cent disapproval, with 43 per cent undecided.

Among political party leaders:

GERB-UDF leader Boiko Borissov has an approval rating of 20.5 per cent and a disapproval rating of 55.6 per cent;

WCC co-leader Kiril Petkov – approval 15.9 per cent, disapproval 58.5 per cent;

WCC co-leader Assen Vassilev – approval 16.5 per cent, disapproval 53.6 per cent;

DB co-leader Hristo Ivanov – approval 16.9 per cent, disapproval 46.1 per cent;

DB co-leader Atanas Atanassov – approval 11 per cent, disapproval 43.9 per cent;

DB co-leader Vladislav Panev – approval 9.8 per cent, disapproval 39.5 per cent;

Vuzrazhdane leader Kostadin Kostadinov – approval 15.1 per cent, disapproval 59.6 per cent (the highest disapproval rating of a leader of a party with seats in Parliament);

MRF leader Mustafa Karadayi – approval 11.2 per cent, disapproval 53.8 per cent;

BSP leader Kornelia Ninova – approval 13.1 per cent, disapproval 55 per cent; and

ITN leader Slavi Trifonov – approval 12.5 per cent, disapproval 51.7 per cent.

The poll was done from June 20 to 26 by Alpha Research, using its own funds. The results have been posted on its website. The poll was done among 1000 adult citizens from all over Bulgaria. 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.

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