Bulgaria's ruling GERB party leads polls ahead of Sunday vote

Bulgaria's ruling GERB party leads polls ahead of Sunday vote

Bulgaria's ruling centre-right party GERB retains its lead over its main rival, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), less than a week before Sunday's general elections, public opinion surveys shows.

As many as 22.8% of all respondents determined to cast a ballot said they will back GERB, while 18.0% intend to vote for BSP, a survey conducted by Sofia-based Market Links agency showed. The survey, which was commissioned by bTV station, was conducted between March 18 and March 25 and the results were made public on Monday.

There Is Such A People, a newly formed party led by television presenter Slavi Trifonov, will get 12.7% of the votes, followed by the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), which represents mainly the ethnic Turks, with 9.0% and the Democratic Bulgaria coalition with 7.5%, according to the survey.

Two other formations have a chance to cross the 4% threshold to enter parliament, according to the survey. Rise Up! Thugs Out!, a coalition between former ombudsman Maya Manolova and members of the so-called 'Poisonous Trio' which organised a series of anti-government protests last year, is backed by 4.5%. Nationalist party VMRO has 3.3% support.

As many as 46% of the respondents in the Market Links poll said they will certainly vote in the April 4 elections, while 7% said they will not.

According to a survey by Mediana polling agency published last week, GERB has 27% support versus 23% backing for BSP, 13.5% for There Is Such A People and 11.3% for DPS. The Rise Up! Thugs Out coalition ranked fifth with 6.7% support, followed by Democratic Bulgaria with 4.7%.

Mediana's poll also showed that 60% of the respondents, or about 3.4 million people, will go to the polling stations.

A survey by Alpha Research polling agency in the beginning of this month showed 28.5% support for GERB, 23.2% for BSP, 13.3% for There Is Such A People and 12.5% for DSP. According to the survey, six or seven parties would probably enter parliament, as Democratic Bulgaria would get 5.7% of the votes, folllowed by Rise Up! Thugs Out! with 4.5%. VMRO has 3.7% support, according to Alpha Research.

Candidates from 30 parties and coalitions are running in the elections .

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