Bulgaria's Early Election: Poll Gives Socialists Edge on GERB

Politics » DOMESTIC | January 30, 2017, Monday // 15:04
Bulgaria: Bulgaria's Early Election: Poll Gives Socialists Edge on GERB Source: Alpha Research

For the first time, an opinion poll has projected a slight edge for the Bulgarian Socialist Party on center-right GERB, the party of former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, in the event of a hypothetical election.

GERB, which dominated the previous government until it stepped down in mid-November, would get 27.6%, narrowly lagging behind the BSP whose result would be 28.7%, if a snap vote were held on January 30, Monday, according to Gallup International Bulgaria pollsters.

"It is hard to say who would finish first in the [real] elections," Gallup notes.

But its estimates mark the first time GERB is not seen as the outright winner of a parliamentary election since 2009. By contrast, Alpha Research projected for GERB bigger support by a wider margin in its own poll results published last week.

The projection comes just two months before the date of a third early election in four years.

Up to six parties would make it to the Bulgarian parliament. These would include the main parties, conservative GERB and socialist BSP, but also the nationalist alliance called United Patriots, which overtakes on the liberal, ethnic Turk-dominated DPS as the third-largest political force, according to the projections.

Varna-based businessman Veselin Mareshki's Volya ("Will") party would also make it into Parliament and would muster 7.7% of the ballots as a newcomer to the political arena.

The Reformist Bloc, a loose coalition of parties that acted as the junior partner in the previous cabinet, could go beyond the threshold at 4.3% (the barrier itself being 4%), Gallup says.

It is no clear how much Yes, Bulgaria, ABV, DSB, DOST and the Bulgarian Democratic Center would get, their support ranging between 1.5% and 2% and in some cases depending on the coalitions they would embark on.

Borisov's personal rating as also slumped, falling to 24.6% and placing him below President Rumen Radev (41.7%), nationalist leader Krasimir Karakachanov (26.1%), and socialist leader Korneliya Ninova (24.9%).

In the winter of 2016, Borisov's rating was 32.5%, while that of Karakachanov was just 14.2%. (Korneliya Ninova and Rumen Radev did not hold any offices, nor were they officially running for one, and were not included in the measurement back then.)

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Tags: GERB, BSP, DPS, Gallup International, United Patriots, Alpha Research
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