Bulgaria's GERB-UDF, We Continue The Change neck-and-neck in race for parl - exit polls

Bulgaria's GERB-UDF, We Continue The Change neck-and-neck in race for parl - exit polls

Bulgaria's centre-right coalition of GERB and Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) led by former prime minister Boyko Borissov, and We Continue The Change, a recently formed anti-graft party, are locked in a tight race in Sunday's snap general election, exit polls showed.

Six or seven parties will enter the 240-seat National Assembly after a record-low number of voters cast a ballot, according to exit polls by Alpha Research and Gallup International Balkan polling agencies, quoted by public television BNT.

Sunday's vote for member of parliament is the country's third vote this year, after regular elections in April and an erly election i July. The vote has been held simultaneously with the elections for president.

The GERB-UDF coalition was backed by 24.8% of voters against 24.1% for We Continue the Change, according to the results of an exit poll by Alpha Research.

According to a Gallup International Balkan exit poll, however, We Continue the Change came first with 25.7% support, against 23.5% for the GERB-UDF.

According to both polling agencies, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) is third, followed by predominantly ethnic Turks' Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) and There is Such a People (TISP) led by musician and TV show host Slavi Trifonov.

Reformist Democratic Bulgaria coalition is the only other political formation to enter parliament, according to the Alpha Research exit poll. According to Gallup International Balkan, however, another formation, staunchly nationalist and populist Revival, too will enter parliament.

BSP was backed by 13.7%, according to Alpha Research and by 14.5%, according to Gallup International Balkan. MRF won a little over 10%, according to both polling agencies, one percentage point ahead of TISP.

TISP won the July 11 snap vote with a margin of less than a percentage point ahead of GERB-UDF. The populist formation, however, failed to put together a cabinet.

The Democratic Bulgaria coalition is backed by 7.8%, according to Alpha Reasearch. Gallup International Balkan sees support for Democratic Bulgaria at 6.9%.

According to Gallup International Balkan, however, Revival, will enter parliament on the back of 4.2% of the votes.

Voter turnout stood at 25.58% by 4 p.m. local time, four hours before polling stations closed, according to central electoral commission data quoted by BNT.

By comparison, final voter turnout was 42.19% in the July snap election, 40.18% in the regular election in April, and 54.07% in the regular parliamentary elections held in March 2017.

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