site.btaMarket Links Poll: First and Second Party in Parliamentary Elections 8% Apart, Two-Party Cabinet Likely

Market Links Poll: First and Second Party in Parliamentary Elections 8% Apart, Two-Party Cabinet Likely
Market Links Poll: First and Second Party in Parliamentary Elections 8% Apart, Two-Party Cabinet Likely

GERB-UDF has a lead of over 8% on runner-up Continue the Change – Democratic Bulgaria (CC-DB) in a Market Links/bTV poll for the national elections on June 9. The poll results were announced by bTV Friday. The future Parliament might be able to produce a two-party cabinet, bTV said.

The nationally representative poll was taken among 1,007 adult respondents between April 27 and May 9, 2024 via direct interviews and online poll. 

GERB-UDF gets 26% of the votes for MPs, according to the poll. It is expected to receive 26.4% of the votes in the EP elections, which will be held on the same day.

Runner-up is Continue the Change – Democratic Bulgaria with 17.7% for the national elections and 18.6% for the European elections.  

Third is the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) with 13.2% for the national election and 11.7% for the European elections.

The nationalist Vazrazhdane gets 12.9% and 11.1%, respectively.

Next is the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) with 8.1% and 8.4%, respectively.

Social analyst Dobromir Zhivkov commented on bTV that voter attitudes have remained “relatively unchanged in recent months”.

“There is not much dynamics with voter attitudes. We see that the parties that are more committed to Bulgaria’s European path, do not perform uniformly in the national and the European elections. Presumably, they will be able to mobilize stronger support. Vazrazhdane is expected to show lower mobilization for the European elections. These are the current trends,” said Zhivkov.

He said that CC-DB have failed to accomplish the goals they declared as they went into politics – and the government – hence the loss of electoral support for them and the GERB lead of close to 9%. He also believes that CC-DB suffered from forming a joint government with GERB, which many CC-DB supporters thought was unprincipled. “That was deftly used by GERB. Their goal was to weaken the wave of support for CC-DB. Another thing is the glue that keeps together the GERB voters. There have been many dependencies and nets that have existed through the years. The GERB supporters like the status quo. Also, many voters express a genuine support for GERB values and its leader Boyko Borissov,” he said. 

CC-DB are losing support among the undecided voters and among their periphery, and these votes go to Bulgarian Solidarity coalition or Blue Bulgaria, among others, the analyst said.

Unlike them, GERB are staying on the same level of support. There is no growth of support and the small fluctuations don’t change the big picture.

For MRF, Zhivkov finds it hard to say how much they will succeed to increase their support. “Their supporters are a constant number. They increase their clout because of the general redistribution: we see a five-party Parliament looming [against a six-party Parliament now],” he also said. 

The parties that are unlikely to clear the 4% threshold for entry in Parliament at this stage, include There Is Such a People with 3.2% for the national and 2.4% for the European elections; Bulgarian Solidarity of Maya Manolova and Vanya Grigorova with 1.8% and 2.3%, respectively; and Blue Coalition with 1.4% and 1.5%. 

The undecided are 8.7% for the national elections and 10.1% for the European elections.

Over 3% don’t support anybody in both elections.

Zhivkov expects this situation to change throughout the campaign.

Seats in Parliament

GERB-UDF is expected to have 80 MPs, up from 69 in the current Parliament. 

CC-DB will have 55 MPs, down from 64 now.

MRF is expected to grow to 41 from 36 now. 

Vazrazhdane will likely have two seats more (39) and so will BSP (25). 

These figures mean that GERB and MRF will be able to form a government, Zhivkov said. “There is a potential for that. We will see if it will materialize on election day. GERB and MRF are close to having a majority in the next Parliament and we will see if they will take the step of forming a government of the two. The wider expectation is that they will seek a broader coalition format,” he added.

Zhivkov expects that a GERB-MRF government would cause serious reactions in society but he does not rule out completely the prospect of a two-party cabinet.

The Market Links poll shows that GERB-UDF will have six MEPs, CC-DB four, Vazrazhdane three, MRF and BSP two each.

Turnout

Following a series of early elections in the past couple of years, voter turnout has reached a low of around 40% (40.61% in the April 2023 general elections) and is expected around the same level on June 9. “This is not a big accomplishment but at least we can stop the negative trend,” said Zhivkov.

In this Market Links poll, 45.8% of the respondents said that they will vote in the national elections and 43.9% will vote in the European elections.

In the 2019 European elections, the turnout of Bulgarian voters was 32%.

Of one foreign policy issue which is a big priority for Bulgaria – entry in the Schengen border-free area for land travel, Zhivkov finds a consolidation (of 68%) around the understanding that it is important for the economy and tourism of this country. “Years ago, there was a perception that it is not important and support for Schengen entry was low. The authorities then failed to explain the benefits. Now the picture is very different,” Zhivkov commented.

As regards the euro changeover in Bulgaria, there is much skepticism: 47% don’t think it will energize the national economy and raise living standards. 39% are supportive of the euro changeover and 14% are neither supportive nor opposed to it.

/NF/

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By 09:13 on 16.07.2024 Today`s news

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