CEDB retains lead, political deadlock in Bulgaria likely according to latest Gallup poll

By bne IntelliNews April 17, 2013

A total of five parties would win seats in the new parliament, according to the results of a recent poll by Gallup International. Four of them can be certain of being represented in the parliament - CEDB, BSP, MRF and Ataka while the fifth party, Kuneva's BFC, is very close to overcoming the 4% barrier.

Centre-right CEDB remains the leader with 22.8% of all votes but it is followed very closely by socialist BSP with 19.9%. Both parties have gained popularity since March. The third most popular party is radical Ataka which now has 5.7% of the votes (as compared to only 5% in the previous poll). The fourth party that is certain to secure seats in parliament is ethnic MRF (with 4.9%). Former European Commissioner Kuneva’s Bulgaria for the Citizens (FC) also has a good chance of entering the parliament as it currently has 3.9%.

Gallup predicts between 3 and 3.6 million Bulgarians will vote at the upcoming parliamentary election in May. This equals to around 58% voter turnout (if we presume that the actual number of registered voters is around 6.2mn) which is lower compared to what other polling agencies predict (NCIOM - 59%, Mediana - 62%) and results in more distortion of the proportional representation (parties receive a much higher share of the seats than votes). We note that turnover close to the 4 million mark will favour smaller parties and likely result in 6 parties gaining representation. In contrast, a lower turnout will concentrate the seats in parliament in 4 or 5 parties giving an advantage for the largest two – CEDB and BSP but also to MRF, which has a strong core following and could be instrumental in forming a governing coalition. 

According to the poll, the difference between the two leading parties, CEDB and BSP, is small and both parties receive a similar number of seats. In this case, no two-party coalition is possible* resulting in a deadlock and new elections later on in the year.

Gallup April CEDB BSP MRF BFC Ataka
Seats 94 82 22 17 25
IntelliNews calculations      

*We exclude the possibility of a CEDB-BSP coalition. The two parties represent the two sides of the political spectrum and a coalition between them would only be possible in a national crisis or a continued political deadlock.

Month Polling agency CEDB BSP MRF  BFC DSB/Blue Coalition Ataka UDF
Apr'2013 Gallup 22.8% 19.9% 4.9% 3.9% 1.2% 5.7% 1.2%
Mar'2013 NCIOM 24.4% 17.5% 6.5% 3.5% 2.0% 5.0%  
Mar'2013 Institute of Modern Politics 24.8% 20.6% 5.6% 4.3% 3.6% 4.9% 1.0%
Mar'2013 Alpha research 21.9% 17.4% 4-5% 3.9%   5.5%  
Mar'2013 Mediana 21.3% 20.4% 7.9% 5.1% 1.5% 4.3% 1.4%
Mar'2013 Gallup 19.7% 18.6% 5.2% 3.0% 0.7% 5.0% 0.7%
Mar'2013 Institute of Modern Politics 24.1% 20.3% 4.6% 2.7% 2.1% 3.6% 1.1%
Feb'2013 Gallup 22.0% 22.0% 7.3% 4.8% 1.3% 1.2% 0.9%
Feb'2013 Mediana 19.3% 22.5% 6.8% 5.9% 1.4% 3.6% 1.6%
Jan'2013 Alpha research 20.9% 18.5% 5.4% 5.6% 2.8% 1.9% 1.6%
Jan'2013 NCIOM 24.2% 19.5% 6.4% 5.9% 2.5% 2.6%  
Jan'2013 Gallup 23.8% 19.7% 7.0% 4.9% 1.0% 1.2% 0.8%
Jan'2013 Institute of Modern Politics 24.8% 19.3% 5.5% 4.8%   2.7%  
Compiled by IntelliNews

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