Alpha Research: Ruling Coalition without GERB or BSP Is Highly Unlikely
More than 40 percent of Bulgarians expect that there will be no landslide winner in the upcoming parliamentary elections, they rather think that several parties will have close results. In this situation, an equal number of people are to form governing coalitions with the political formations garnering the most votes - GERB and BSP.
The next parliament will be fragmented - most likely it will comprise six parties that will have difficulty in forming a cabinet. Three months before the expected date of the vote, the number of people who are determined to vote but are hesitant about who for is growing. At the same time, the rise in fears over the deterioration of the COVID-19 epidemic in December led to a drop in intention to participate in parliamentary elections, and lower turnout would bring electoral bonuses for the major parties and a surge in support for smaller and newer participants in the elections.
This is the main takeout from a nationally representative survey of the Alfa Research polling agency, carried out between 15 and 21 December 2020. It was made among 1,017 adult residents from across the country through a direct standardized door-to-door interviewing.
Just under a quarter of respondents expect the currently ruling party, GERB, to win the election convincingly. Sixteen percent predict an emphatic victory for the main opposition formation, BSP and, according to 43 percent, several players will have close results, Alpha Research data show.
In this situation, according to sociologists, the question of the nature of future governance becomes important. Practically equal number of people believe that governing coalition will be formed around GERB or around BSP.
The survey notes an interesting characteristic feature - the voters will combine in the vote the approaches similar to a vote in two rounds: they will be guided simultaneously by the question "who we like" (which is usually leading in first-round voting) and by the question "who we are against" (which becomes important in the second), commented managing partner in "Alpha Research" Boryana Dimitrova two days ago in an interview with BNT. In her words, people will not only choose the political power they like, but will also vote to some extent on the nature of future governance.
If the election were today, the most likely outcome would be a six-party parliament with a politically unsustainable majority and a difficult coalition to form, pollsters say.
In December GERB (24.3%) has a lead of 2.4 points ahead of BSP (21.9%) in the preferences of those who firmly decided to vote. In the previous survey in September, the gap between the leading formations was 0.9 percentage points in favour of the current government.
However, all other parties more or less lose support. The parliamentary represented - because of the accumulated dissatisfaction with the status quo and the non-parliamentary - because of the shift in public opinion priorities with the second wave of COVID-19 and the fading of protest potential, according to the analysis of sociologists.
As a third parliamentary political force, "There is such a people" of TV presenter Slavi Trifonov it emerged in December, but the stubborn refusal to present their forefront faces and priorities began to undermine their advantage: support for the party fell from 14.9% in September to 10.2% in December, and Trifonov's personal rating plummeted from 36% to 30.3%.
A similar trend reports "Alpha Research" in the support for "Democratic Bulgaria". It has fallen from 9.4% to 6.1% in the past three months, mainly due to the lower mobilisation of their sympathizers, according to sociologists. "The union retains a high share among hesitating voters, but lower among hard-core electorate. The return of these voters could bring DB closer to higher summer positions," the agency said. The leader of the formation Hristo Ivanov retains personal confidence rating of 14.7%.
Stand Up.bg platform (4.9%) Maya Manolova, although closest to the 4% threshold, also still has chances for entering parliament.
The MRF electorate, which got united during the protests, reached 7.2% of the decided to vote, which ranks the Movement fourth. In contrast, the sympathizers of the IMRO continue to gradually to melt, to the 2.7%, which is not enough to enter parliament.
The fragmentation of the protest vote is also exacerbated by the growing share of hesitant voters (from 10.1% to 16.3%).
Nearly half of voters say they are willing to go to the polls (49.6 percent), 22.2 percent say they will not vote, and 28.2 percent do not know yet.
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