Alpha Research Poll: Bulgaria's Presidential Runoff 'Too Close to Call'Domestic | October 17, 2016, Monday // 15:25| views
GERB's presidential candidate Tsetska Tsacheva and her socialist backed opponent, Rumen Radev.
A dramatic runoff is expected in the presidential elections of Bulgaria, pollster Alpha Research has said.
While the candidate of conservative GERB party, Tsetska Tsacheva, will have a 7.9% lead in the first round according to Alpha Research, the gap between her and socialist-backed opponent Rumen Radev will be around 1 percent, a recent poll, conducted October 08-13, indicates.
Some 29.3% of the 1025 respondents have said they would vote for Tsacheva, compared to 21.4% for Radev, in the first round.
Projected voter turnout is around 61% according to the poll, with the figure corresponding to the share of those who have declared intentions to vote.
Krasimir Karakachanov, the nationalist candidate, is tipped to come third, followed by Ivaylo Kalfin (ABV) whose support will be at 6.8%.
Traycho Traykov (Reformist Bloc) and Tatyana Doncheva (Movement 21) will trail behind at 5% and 4.5% respectively, according to Alpha Research.
In a hypothetical runoff between Tsacheva and Radev, Tsacheva's support among respondents is projected at 32.6%, with 31.3% backing Radev and 36.1% not voting.
A runoff between Tsacheva and Karakachanov - a development some experts do not rule out, citing his fervent rhetoric on the migrant crisis - would result in Tsacheva winning more resoundingly, with 31.9% support from respondents against 21.5% for Karakachanov (43% not voting).
But Alpha Research makes it clear that votes from sympathizers of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) will be crucial, with 80% of them saying they will either refrain from voting or decide later. The DPS, the second-largest political party, has neither produced its own candidate nor endorsed one.
Last week, a Gallup International Bulgaria poll predicted a victory for Radev in the second round. Like Alpha Research, Gallup also described support from DPS voters as crucial in the race.
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