Bulgaria's Socialists, Centre-right GERB Lead Pack Ahead of EP Vote - Poll

Bulgaria's Socialists, Centre-right GERB Lead Pack Ahead of EP Vote - Poll

The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and the centre-right GERB are running shoulder-to-shoulder in the race for members of the European Parliament (EP), comfortably ahead of the other candidates, a public opinion survey showed.

Bulgarians will vote for EP on Sunday. The Southeast European country, which joined the European Union in 2007, will have 17 representatives in the 751-seat chamber.

Four Bulgarian parties  - BSP, GERB, a coalition led Bulgaria Without Censorship (BwC) and the ethnic Turks' Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) - are expected to cross the 5.88% threshold for entry into EP, according to a poll conducted by polling agency Gallup International in the May 8 - 15 period.

BSP and GERB are each backed by 18.3% of voters, the poll indicated.

The BwC-led coalition enjoys the support of 7.2% of voters, followed closely by the MRF with 7.1% backing.

Election turnout is expected at 44%, according to the survey.

Some 3.8% of voters would back the Reformist Bloc, an extra-parliamentary alliance of rightist parties, up from 2.1% a month earlier.

The European Parliament is elected for a five-year term. Representation is proportional and the number of seats is allocated in correspondence to the population of each member state.

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