Bulgaria’s 2024 European Parliament elections: GERB-UDF 22.6%, We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria 19.9% – poll

Ahead of the European Parliament elections to be held in Bulgaria on June 6, a poll by the Alpha Research agency done at the beginning of March has found that among those who intend voting, GERB-UDF has 22.6 per cent support and We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria 19.9 per cent.

In third place was pro-Russian party Vuzrazhdane with 13.2 per cent, followed by the Bulgarian Socialist Party with 8.9 per cent, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms 8.4 per cent, and populist ITN, 4.9 per cent.

A total of 16.3 per cent were undecided.

Alpha Research said that weeks before the first-ever “rotation” of the government, the activities of the Cabinet enjoy the approval of 21.1 per cent of Bulgarians – the same as its initial support from nine months ago.

More significant is the dynamics of disapproval, which grew from 37 per cent when it was formed to 52.9 per cent at the moment.

There is a similar, albeit smaller in scale, trend in the ratings of Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov: approval from 23.6 per cent (compared to 26 per cent upon taking office) and disapproval growth from 30 per cent to 42.4 per cent over the same period.

Maria Gabriel, who is expected to take over the post of Prime Minister, is among the few politicians in the country with a positive rating – 34.7 per cent positive against 25.2 per cent negative.

Expectations for the activity of a Gabriel Cabinet are predominantly neutral, but thanks to personal trust in her, optimism prevails over pessimism: 20 per cent believe that the government will work better against 15 per cent that it will be worse.

The agency said that the tension that has grown in recent weeks between the participants in the government has polarized the attitude towards the Denkov Cabinet among their own sympathizers.

At the beginning of March, the Cabinet was overwhelmingly approved only by supporters of the WCC-DB.

Distrust dominates among GERB voters, and the opinions of MRF sympathizers are at both extremes.

Regarding a Gabriel Cabinet, on the contrary, only supporters of GERB stand out with dominantly positive expectations (59 per cent against only two per cent that it will be worse).

WCC-DB voters are moderately critical, and MRF voters are neutral in their opinions.

Among the sympathizers of the other parties, there is a kind of consensus: a negative assessment of the government’s work so far and expectations that the government will continue in the same way after the “rotation”.

Regardless of the (non)coalition tension, the largest part of the public (40 per cent) believes that the right decision for the country is for the “rotation” to take place.

A further 27 per cent, mainly those who vote for the BSP, Vuzrazhdane, but also the MRF, see a better outcome in “two-in-one” elections, parliamentary together with the European ones.

Opinions of the activities of the main institutions in the country continues to be highly critical, Alpha Research said.

Confidence in parliament is frozen at seven per cent approval and 62 per cent disapproval.

The attitude towards its current Speaker, Rossen Zhelyazkov, is more positive compared to that towards the institution – 21 per cent positive, 52 per cent neutral and 27 per cent negative.

Expectations regarding the likely next Speaker of the National Assembly, Atanas Atanasov, are more subdued – 13 per cent positive, 46 per cent neutral and 41 per cent negative.

The agency said that President Roumen Radev maintains his level of trust from the end of 2023 – 39 per cent approval against 38 per cent disapproval and 23 per cent neutral attitude.

In contrast to his first term, when the span of public support for him was significantly wider, at the moment it comes mainly from voters positioned on the left and sharing pro-Russian attitudes – of the BSP, Vuzrazhdane, the Left, and non-voters.

Boiiko Borissov maintains his position as the most approved party leader with 21.6 per cent trust, but also a significant share of mistrust – 51 per cent.

However, the co-leaders of WCC have suffered image damage in recent months. Assen Vassilev has 13.8 per cent trust against 61.1 per cent distrust, and Kiril Petkov – 13.1 per cent trust against 64.3 per cent distrust.

The attitude towards DB co-leader Hristo Ivanov is more positive – 15.2 per cent trust against 49.7 per cent distrust.

Vuzrazhdane leader Kostadin Kostadinov currently has 15 per cent approval against 57.2 per cent disapproval.

Of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms co-leaders, Delyan Peevski has five per cent approval and 74.4 per cent disapproval and Dzhevdet Chakurov 8.7 per cent approval and 48.1 per cent disapproval.

BSP leader Kornelia Ninova has 12.2 per cent approval against 56.1 per cent disapproval.

ITN leader Slavi Trifonov has 12 per cent approval against 51.6 per cent disapproval.

The poll was done from March 1-7 2024 by Alpha Research, is published on the agency’s website and was carried out using the agency’s own funds. The survey was done among 1000 adult citizens from all over the country. A stratified two-stage sample was used with a quota according to the main socio-demographic characteristics. The information was collected through a direct standardised interview with tablets at the homes of the respondents.

Please help keep The Sofia Globe’s independent journalism alive by clicking on the button below and signing up to become a supporter on patreon.com. Becoming a patron of The Sofia Globe costs as little as three euro a month or the equivalent in other currencies.

Become a Patron!

The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to sofiaglobe.com's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage. https://www.patreon.com/user?u=32709292