Poll Shows Socialists Ahead of GERB by 2%

Poll Shows Socialists Ahead of GERB by 2%


Poll Shows
Ahead of GERB by 2%

Sofia, May 10 (BTA) - The gap between the approval ratings of the two leading parties in Bulgaria, GERB and the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), increased by 1.5 per cent compared to April, and is currently at 2 per cent in favour for BSP. The data come from a poll conducted by the Mediana agency in May 2-7 among 1,008 adults.

The poll shows that 31.9 per cent of those who will vote at the May 26 European elections would support BSP, and 29.9 per cent - the right-wing coalition between GERB and the Union of Democratic Forces. There is no significant influx of new voters for BSP, but there is a reflux of GERB voters, as the so called "soft periphery" is fading away.

According to sociologists, the core GERB electorate is highly motivated to support the party and vote in the elections. The party has somewhat regained voters' trust, which was hit hard by the Apartmentgate scandals.

Two weeks before the elections, the two parties stand against each other with practically the same approval rating, and the dominance of one of them may be decided by "trifles", such as the holidays around election day, sociologists say.

The third party that will pass the electoral threshold is the Movement for Rights and Freedoms with 10.7 per cent of voters, according to the poll. The tension there is related to the order of candidates on the ticket and the big chance of using preferential voting.

Two parties close to the electoral threshold are Volya, with an approval rating of 4.9 per cent, and the VMRO with 4.7 per cent, followed by the National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria with 3.9 per cent, Coalition for Bulgaria with 3.8 per cent, Democratic Bulgaria with 3.4 per cent, and Ataka with 2.6 per cent. According to sociologists, it cannot be said that none of these parties will pass the threshold, since as of May 8, nearly one million eligible voters say they might vote but are still unsure who they will support or whether they will vote at all. Depending on what direction they sway in, practically any party could shoot over the threshold.

Sociologists say people's desire to vote dwindles as the election campaign advances and the scandals with senior officers' real estate die down. Data show the number of Bulgarians who find the elections important for this country went down by 13 per cent in a month, from 51 per cent in April to 38 per cent in May. Sociologists say perhaps about 2.5 million voters will vote given there are no new scandals.

The poll points to a low use of preferential voting, as only 8.5 per cent of respondents would do so. Perhaps there will be no reordering of the lists as a result of preferential voting, Mediana says. LI/TH