Alpha Research on Bulgarian Elections: “We Continue the Change” could be Second in Power

Politics » ELECTIONS | November 11, 2021, Thursday // 12:31
Bulgaria: Alpha Research on Bulgarian Elections: “We Continue the Change” could be Second in Power Alpha Research

About 47% - 48% of people with the right to vote in the country say they will vote on November 14. About a quarter more are hesitant to go to the polls.

This is shown by the data from a survey of "Alpha Research", conducted from November 7 to 9 among 1,017 adult citizens and financed with own funds.

The mutual influence and overlap between the presidential and parliamentary campaigns - combined with the accompanying scandals, health and socio-economic crises - return voters' interest in the battle for parliament. At the beginning of the campaign, as usual, the majority presidential vote focused more attention than the party race. Three weeks later, however, those who decided to support the party list exceeded the participants in the presidential election by about 2 points, sociologists commented.

 

Electoral attitudes to the parliamentary vote

GERB-SDS retains its leading position with the support of 24.1% of those who firmly decided to vote, increasing the distance to their direct opponents. The former rulers managed to regain some of the voters who withdrew in July in the capital and major cities. Their advantage is complemented by the dynamic exchange of sympathizers between the protest formations, which does not allow any of them to stand out as the undisputed carrier of change.

The second position remains the most contested. In direct competition for it and with variable success during the campaign are "We Continue the Change" and BSP. One week before the vote, the support for the formation around the former caretaker ministers Kiril Petkov and Asen Vassilev is in a high plateau of 16.5% and slightly prevails over that for the Socialists (16.0%). The outcome of this battle will be decided not only by the ability of both parties to mobilize their supporters, but also by situational factors. Deterioration of the COVID situation and machine voting pose risks for BSP, but they are not a serious challenge for the supporters of "We Continue the Change". The unclear ideological profile, the case of Kiril Petkov's dual citizenship and the weaker mobilization may have a negative effect on "We Continue the Change", Alpha Research claims.

"Democratic Bulgaria", "There is Such a People" and DPS are the other three parties with a secure presence in the next National Assembly. Their results are very close and it is possible to shift positions between them in the remaining days.

The announcement of the "We Continue to hCange" project has caused electoral damage to all protest parties. After the initial outflow of supporters, Democratic Bulgaria managed to recover part of this loss and in the final of the campaign took 4th place with 10.2% of those who decided to vote.

 

The winner of the July election "There is Such a People" suffered the most serious prolonged erosion in recent months and ended the current campaign with 9.9% support.

DPS, despite its active campaign and the leader's candidacy for president, has not achieved the usual high level of voter mobilization (currently around 65%, compared to usually over 85% in previous elections). This brings 9.8% for the Movement, which does not allow it to significantly improve its position in the July vote.

Two other formations are close to the 4% barrier and retain a chance to be present in parliament.

"Vazrazhdane" with 3.8% partially consolidated the fragmented radical nationalist vote in the last two elections.

The exchange of sympathizers between the protest parties also affects "Stand up BG! We are coming!". The coalition around Maya Manolova, which also suffered losses from "We Continue to Change", slightly increased its support and by 3.6% also remained close to the election threshold.

The last days before the vote will be a period of battle for the peripheries, which can hardly change the overall picture, but will be decisive for the second place and for crossing the barrier. The observed dynamics again show a fragmented parliament and a difficult majority formation, according to Alpha Research.

Electoral attitudes for the presidential vote

The situation around the presidential election is relatively clearer. Rumen Radev, who is fighting for asecond term, has the biggest advance (46.4%), but also more difficulties compared to a month earlier. On the one hand, the challenge before him is the chilled enthusiasm for this vote, which will hardly exceed the 50% turnout needed to end the elections in one round. On the other hand, the growing frustration with the actions of the caretaker government in recent weeks (especially on the health crisis, inflation, electricity prices) has shaken the determination of some of its supporters. The strongest supporters of Radev are the supporters of BSP and "We Continue the Change". Among the wider periphery, which will be very important for the second round, however, there is some cracking.

In the second round the runoff will be between Rumen Radev and Anastas Gerdjikov. The professor enters the last week of the campaign with support of 28.3%, which comes mainly from supporters of GERB-SDS, representatives of the intelligentsia, liberal professions and academia.

Mustafa Karadayi (8.8%) and Lozan Panov (6.9%) are the other two candidates with a more significant share of supporters. However, they, like Kostadin Kostadinov (3.2%), suffer from the effect of increased interest in the parliamentary at the expense of the presidential race and currently have lower support than the formations behind them.

These trends make the outcome of the runoff depend not only on the outcome of the first round, but also on the positions of the political parties and the ability of the two leading candidates to mobilize voters outside the circle of their strong supporters.

This study was conducted in the period November 7-9, 2021 by "Alpha Research", is published on the website of the agency and is implemented with its own funds. The survey was conducted among 1,017 adult citizens across the country. A stratified two-stage sample with a quota on the main socio-demographic characteristics was used. The information was collected through a direct standardized interview with tablets in the homes of the respondents.

 

Alpha Research is responsible for the data and interpretation published on its website, but not for the selective or manipulative use of such data.

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