Exit poll puts Bulgaria’s ruling party ahead in European Parliament election on tiny turnout

By bne IntelliNews May 26, 2019

Bulgaria’s ruling Gerb party won most of the votes in the May 26 election for the European Parliament, unexpectedly leading significantly ahead of its main rival, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), exit polls showed.

According to an exit poll from Alpha Research, Gerb won 32.7% of the vote, way ahead of the BSP, which gained just 23.2% of the votes. This outcome was not expected by local analysts as Gerb was badly hit by a major scandal, dubbed Apartmentgate, in the weeks prior to the vote.

However, Gerb’s victory came on very low turnout of 28.8%, according to Alpha Research.

Third was the ethnic-Turk Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) with 13.6%, followed by far-right VMRO (7%) and the reformist Democratic Bulgaria (5.9%).

Days before the vote, analysts forecast that Prime Minister Boyko Borrisov’s government would be punished for the Apartmentgate scandal, though in the last few days Borissov personally took over the election campaign and managed to recover some support.

The scandal revealed that top politicians and state officials were sold luxury apartments for a fraction of their value, which disgusted citizens of the EU’s poorest country, many of whom struggle to buy their own homes or service their mortgages.

Apartmentgate, and a related scandal over EU rural development funds allegedly used to build luxury villas, has already led to several resignations and investigations ahead of the European Parliament election, and seriously destabilised Gerb.

Related Articles

Bulgaria’s largest telco Vivacom offered for sale

Vivacom, Bulgaria’s largest telecoms operator, has been put up for sale with Lazard being appointed to sell it, the Financial Times (FT) reported on July 12. ... more

Fitch places Bulgaria’s Eurohold on rating watch negative over CEZ asset deal

Fitch Ratings said it has placed the ratings of Bulgarian financial and insurance group Eurohold and its insurance units, Euroins Bulgaria, Euroins Romania Asigurare Reasigurare and Insurance ... more

Bulgaria’s anti-corruption body finds no wrongdoing in "Apartmentgate" probe

Bulgaria’s anti-corruption commission found no irregularities in the acquisition of luxury property at much lower than market ... more