Fresh Poll Gives Slight Edge to Bulgarian Socialists over GERB

Domestic | September 1, 2013, Sunday // 14:05|  views

23 years after the fall of Communism, Bulgarian voters remain divided and bitter about the country's political parties, file photo

The distance between the Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, and the opposition centrist Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, is in the vicinity of 2.8% right before the official start of the fall political season, according to a recent poll.

The poll has been conducted by the Alfa Research Agency in the eve of the first 100 days of the term in office of Bulgaria's Socialist-led government of Prime Minister, Plamen Oresharski.

If general elections were to be held now, BSP will be first by the number of ballots cast, while GERB is second.

The support for GERB stands at 15.6%, while the one for BSP is 18.4%.

The highest result for the Socialists is attributed by pollsters to the mobilization of party followers which always happens when they feel being attacked as it is the case with relentless antigovernment protests in the country.

The newly-launched right-wing Reformist Bloc gets 7.6%. The Reformist Bloc currently consists of the Democrats for Strong Bulgaria party (DSB), the Bulgaria for Citizens party of former European Commissioner Meglena Kuneva, the Greens party, the National Party Freedom and Dignity formed by renegades of the liberal ethnic Turkish DPS, the right-wing Blue Unity party, the right-wing Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) and the Bulgarian Agrarian People's Union (BZNS).

The ethnic Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS, keeps its stable 5.8%. Support for the far-right extremist nationalist Ataka is steadily declining and if the elections were to be held now, Ataka would collect just 1.5% of the vote. The nationalists' support seems to be redirected to the National Front for Salvation of Bulgaria, NFSP, which gets 3.1%.

A large number of Bulgarian voters (20%) are undecided as they fail to see political representation in any of the current political parties.

Despite the highest support for BSP, the share of those believing the government is working for the interests of the people is down from 39% to 26%.

51% of the respondents support the antigovernment protests, while 33% back the pro-government ones. 16% support neither.

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Tags: Plamen Oresharski, general elections, GERB, DPS, BSP, Bulgaria for Citizens, Ataka, DSB, Alfa Research, NFSB, Reformist Bloc, protests

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