July 2021 Bulgarian parliamentary election

Snap parliamentary elections were held in Bulgaria on 11 July 2021 after no party was able or willing to form a government following the April 2021 elections.[1] The populist party There Is Such a People (ITN), led by musician and television host Slavi Trifonov, narrowly won the most seats over a coalition of the conservative GERB and Union of Democratic Forces parties. Four other parties (the leftist BSP for Bulgaria, the liberal alliance Democratic Bulgaria, the centrist Turkish minority party Movement for Rights and Freedoms, and the anti-corruption Stand Up! Mafia, Get Out!) won seats in the 240-member Parliament as well.

July 2021 Bulgarian parliamentary election
Bulgaria
← April 2021 11 July 2021 November 2021 →

All 240 seats in the National Assembly
121 seats needed for a majority
Turnout40.39%Decrease 8.71pp
Party Leader % Seats +/–
ITN Slavi Trifonov 23.78 65 +14
GERBSDS Boyko Borisov 23.21 63 -12
BSPzB Korneliya Ninova 13.22 36 -7
DB A. Atanasov & H. Ivanov 12.48 34 +7
DPS Mustafa Karadayi 10.57 29 -1
IBG-NI Maya Manolova 4.95 13 -1
This lists parties that won seats. See the complete results below.
July 2021 Bulgarian parliamentary election - Vote Strength.svg
July 2021 Bulgarian parliamentary election - Seat distribution.svg
Prime Minister before Prime Minister after
Stefan Yanev Stefan Yanev (caretaker)
Independent
Stefan Yanev (caretaker)
Independent
Stefan Yanev

ITN's success was propelled primarily by young voters. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) assessed the election as being "competitive" and with "fundamental freedoms being generally respected."[2] On 6 September, BSP handed back the last mandate of forming a government, meaning the parliament would be dissolved and a third parliamentary election would officially take place in 2021.[3] President Radev declared on 11 September that there would be '2-in-1' elections on November 14 for the first time in Bulgarian history, where voters will be able to vote on the president and the parliament. This decision was taken 'to save treasury costs and voters time'.[4]

BackgroundEdit

The previous election in April saw the ruling GERB party win 75 seats, There Is Such A People (ITN) win 51 seats, BSP for Bulgaria win 43 seats, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms win 30 seats, Democratic Bulgaria win 27 seats and Stand Up! Mafia, Get Out! win 14 seats. After Boyko Borisov of GERB and Slavi Trifonov of There Is Such A People (ITN) were unable to form governments, the BSP stated that they would refuse the mandate to form the government, as the three anti-corruption parties (ITN, Democratic Bulgaria and ISMV) were unwilling to work with them.[1]

Electoral systemEdit

The 240 members of the National Assembly are elected by open list proportional representation from 31 multi-member constituencies ranging in size from 4 to 16 seats. The electoral threshold is 4% for parties, with seats allocated according to the largest remainder method.[5]

Parties and coalitionsEdit

Parliamentary partiesEdit

Party Main ideology Leader Current seats
GERBSDS Conservatism Boyko Borisov
75
ITN Populism Slavi Trifonov
51
BSPzB Democratic socialism Korneliya Ninova
43
DPS Turkish minority interests Mustafa Karadayi
30
DB Liberal conservatism Hristo Ivanov
27
ISMV Social liberalism Maya Manolova
14

Other partiesEdit

In May 2021, IMRO – Bulgarian National Movement formed a alliance with fellow neo-nationalists Volya Movement and National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria in an alliance called Bulgarian Patriots.[6]

Party Main ideology Leader Current seats
Bulgarian National Union – New Democracy Ultranationalism Boris Ivanov
Bogdan Yotsov
No seats
Bulgarian Patriots National conservatism Yulian Angelov
Revival Bulgarian nationalism Kostadin Kostadinov
Bulgarian Summer Direct democracy Boril Sokolov
RzB Conservatism Tsvetan Tsvetanov
Left Union Socialism Nikolay Malinov

Opinion pollsEdit

The opinion poll results below were recalculated from the original data and excludes pollees that chose 'I will not vote' or 'I am uncertain'.

Polling firm Fieldwork date Sample
size
GERBSDS ITN BSPzB DPS DB ISMV BP Revival BL RzB Left Union Others / None Lead
VMRO Volya NFSB
July 2021 election 11 July 2021 23.2% 23.8% 13.2% 10.6% 12.5% 4.9% 3.1% 3.0% 1.8% 0.3% 0.4% 3.2% 0.6%
Alpha Research / BNT Exit polls (20:00) 23.5% 22.3% 14.1% 11.7% 14.1% 5.5% 3.2% 2.3% 1.3% 0.3% 1.7% 1.2%
Gallup / BNT Exit polls (20:00) 22.1% 21.5% 15.1% 11.8% 13.7% 4.9% 3.3% 3.2% 2.2% 0.3% 1.8% 0.6%
Alpha Research 4–7 July 2021 1013 21.5% 21.8% 16.4% 11.1% 12% 5.4% 3.8% 3.2% 1.2% 0.5% 3.1% 0.3%
Trend 3-7 July 2021 1002 20.5% 21.3% 15.9% 11.3% 12.4% 5.1% 3.9% 3.1% 1.6% 0.8% 4.1% 0.8%
Gallup 30 Jun–7 July 2021 1010 20.3% 21.3% 15.9% 11.5% 12.2% 6.1% 4% 3.1% 2.5% 1% 2.1% 1%
Sova Harris 2–6 July 2021 1000 22.6% 22.1% 16% 10.9% 10.6% 5.3% 4.5% 8% 0.5%
Exacta 1–5 July 2021 1005 21.4% 20.8% 15.8% 11.2% 12.8% 4.8% 4% 2.8% 1.8% 4.6% 0.6%
Mediana 26 June–2 July 2021 920 22.5% 21.7% 20.6% 11.1% 10% 5.1% 4.8% 2.2% 2% 0.8%
Nasoca 23–30 Jun 2021 1025 21.4% 20.5% 15.8% 10.5% 11.3% 5.3% 4.4% 2.3% 2.1% 6.4% 0.9%
Specter 24–27 Jun 2021 703 21.4% 19.7% 14.5% 10.5% 12.2% 5.0% 5.2% 2.4% 0.9% 0.5% 1.3% 6.4% 1.7%
Market links 18–25 Jun 2021 626 21.8% 20.8% 18.7% 10.5% 13.8% 6% 3.2% 2.7% 1.4% 1.1% 1%
Barometer 18–23 June 2021 860 22.5% 18.2% 17.1% 11.6% 9.1% 4.3% 6.4% 1.4% 1.2% 1.9% 6.2% 4.3%
Trend 11–18 Jun 2021 1,003 21.7% 20.2% 16.1% 10.9% 11.2% 5.0% 3.9% 2.3% 1.9% 1.1% 5.7% 1.5%
Sova Harris 10–15 Jun 2021 1,000 22.4% 21.7% 18.7% 11.4% 11.1% 5.4% 4.9% 4.4% 0.7%
Mediana 10–15 Jun 2021 1,008 21.4% 24.0% 21.3% 11.2% 7.2% 6.9% 5.1% 1.5% 1.4% 2.6%
Gallup 3–11 Jun 2021 1,012 21.0% 21.2% 15.9% 11.9% 12.1% 5.8% 3.5% 2.7% 2.4% 3.5% 0.2%
Specter 5–10 Jun 2021 731 21.0% 19.4% 14.1% 10.3% 11.5% 4.8% 4.8% 2.8% 0.9% 0.9% 1.5% 8.0% 1.6%
Alpha Research 30 May–7 Jun 2021 1,007 20.3% 18.2% 14.4% 9.9% 11.9% 5.3% 3.4% 2.8% 1.1% 1.8% 10.9% 2.1%
Barometer 1–6 Jun 2021 840 24.1% 17.1% 16.9% 11.3% 8.9% 4.1% 6.1% 1.5% 1.3% 1.1% 7.6% 7.0%
Market Links 19–27 May 2021 676 23.7% 19.8% 19.3% 10.6% 13.3% 4.8% 4.6% 2% 2% 3.9%
CAM[a] 14–21 May 2021 23.8% 20.9% 18.0% 10.5% 11.4% 4.4% 3.7% 1.9% 5.5% 2.9%
Gallup[a] 7–14 May 2021 812 22.8% 20.1% 16.1% 11.2% 11.6% 5.6% 3.1% 1.4% 2.6% 2.8% 6.9% 2.7%
Market Links[b][c] 16–23 Apr 2021 1,053 23.2% 22.3% 18.1% 10.3% 13.1% 6.5% 3.3% 1.9% 1.4% 0.9%
Gallup 12–14 Apr 2021 831 27.2% 23.2% 13.8% 10.4% 12.0% 4.3% 4.0%
April 2021 election 4 Apr 2021 25.8% 17.4% 14.8% 10.4% 9.3% 4.6% 3.6% 2.3% 2.4% 2.9% 1.3% 0.5% 4.7% 8.4%
  1. ^ a b Includes voter-only data.
  2. ^ Includes voters and non-voters.
  3. ^ The sum of all percentages is above or below 100.

Graphical representation of recalculated data:

CampaignEdit

During the buildup to the April election, Borisov sought to increase his party's share of the rural vote, making campaign stops at small villages in the Rhodope Mountains.[7] The April election showed a clear divide between rural and urban areas of the country; towns favored established parties, while Sofia and other cities went predominantly for new opposition parties, including ITN.[8] Reporters predicted these trends would influence the July election as well.[8]

ResultsEdit

There Is Such a People received the most votes, finishing around 15,000 votes ahead of GERB–SDS. It was the first time that GERB or a GERB-led coalition had not won the most votes or seats since the party's establishment in 2006. Four other parties (BSP for Bulgaria, Democratic Bulgaria, Movement for Rights and Freedom, and Stand Up! Mafia, Get Out!) also won seats.[9] There Is Such a People performed well among young voters, with 37.4% of Generation Z supporting the party and 30.9% of voters aged 30–39.[10] GERB–SDS received high support from voters aged 40–69, and BSP for Bulgaria received high support from voters older than 70.[10]

International observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe said freedoms were respected in the election.[9]

 
PartyVotes%Seats+/–
There Is Such a People657,82923.7865+14
GERBSDS642,16523.2163–12
BSP for Bulgaria365,69513.2236–7
Democratic Bulgaria345,33112.4834+7
Movement for Rights and Freedoms292,51410.5729–1
Stand Up! Mafia, Get Out!136,8854.9513–1
Bulgarian Patriots85,7953.1000
Revival82,1472.9700
Bulgarian Summer49,8331.800New
Attack12,5850.4500
Left Union for a Clean and Holy Republic10,3090.370New
Republicans for Bulgaria8,5460.3100
National Association of the Right7,8720.280New
People's Voice4,7410.1700
Bulgarian National Union – New Democracy4,6900.1700
Freedom4,3040.160New
Bulgaria of Work and Reason3,9480.140New
Together Movement for Change3,4450.1200
MIR3,4270.120New
Green Party of Bulgaria3,2570.1200
Direct Democracy3,1430.1100
Brigade2,1870.080New
Rise8620.030New
Independents1420.0100
None of the above35,2011.27
Total2,766,853100.002400
Valid votes2,766,85399.66
Invalid/blank votes9,3420.34
Total votes2,776,195100.00
Registered voters/turnout6,873,78440.39
Source: CIK, IFES

Voter demographicsEdit

Gallup exit polling suggested the following demographic breakdown. The parties which received below 4% of the vote are included in 'Others':

Voter demographics[11]
Social group % ITN % GERB % BSP % DB % DPS % ISMV % BP % Revival % Others % Lead
Exit Poll Result 22.3 22.2 15 12 10 5 3 3 8 0.1
Final Result 24 23 13 12 11 5 3 3 6 1
Gender
Men 22 21 14 12 12 4 3 3 9 1
Women 21 22 16 14 9 5 3 3 7 1
Age
18–30 33 13 6 18 10 4 3 3 10 15
30-60 23 22 11 15 10 5 3 4 7 1
60+ 10 25 31 7 11 4 3 2 7 5
Highest Level of Education
Lower Education 16 10 18 1 45 3 2 1 4 27
Secondary Education 23 24 17 8 11 4 3 3 7 1
Higher Education 22 21 14 21 3 6 3 4 6 1
Ethnic Group
Bulgarian 23 23 17 15 2 5 3 4 0
Turkic 4 13 6 1 71 1 0 0 4 58
Roma 19 20 15 2 28 3 3 0 10 8
Location
Towns and Villages 15 22 16 5 29 1 2 2 8 7
Smaller Cities 24 22 21 8 9 4 3 4 5 2
Larger Cities 25 21 14 14 2 6 4 4 10 4
Sofia 16 21 10 32 1 6 3 3 8 11

AftermathEdit

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe issued a statement that "Bulgaria's early parliamentary elections were competitive and fundamental freedoms were generally respected. The campaign environment was dominated by mutual accusations of corruption between the former ruling party and the provisional government, as well as by efforts by law-enforcement to curb vote-buying."[2]

The elections resulted in a narrow victory for the newly established There Is Such A People (ITN) party over the ruling GERB party. However, ITN won only 65 out of 240 seats in the National Assembly. Following the elections, ITN opted to try and form a minority government and started talks with potential partners (DB, IBG-NI & BSP) in order to secure their support. Nevertheless, these attempts proved unsuccessful and as a result ITN announced on 10 August that they were withdrawing their proposed cabinet, making a third election more likely.[12][13] The leader of ITN, Slavi Trifonov, said in a video statement “This means new elections".[12] The mandate to form a cabinet went to GERB.[13] GERB, the party of the previous prime minister, Boyko Borisov, said earlier "it would not try to form a government".[12] The BSP said that if the scenario repeats itself, it would suggest that the current caretaker cabinet becomes permanent. IBG-NI also expressed confidence that it could come up with a solution if handed the mandate to form a government.[13] Trifonov subsequently announced that he would not support any other parties proposing a cabinet.[14] Parliament announced on 2 September that Bulgaria would hold the first round of the presidential election on November 14, with a snap parliamentary election likely to take place in the same month.[15][16] On 6 September, the BSP handed back the last mandate of forming a government, meaning the parliament would be dissolved and a third parliamentary election would officially take place in 2021.[3] President Rumen Radev declared on 11 September that there would be 2-in-1 elections on November 14 for the first time in Bulgarian history, where voters would be able to vote on the president and the parliament. This decision was taken "to save treasury costs and voters time".[4]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Bulgaria faces fresh elections as Socialists refuse to form a government Archived 2021-05-08 at the Wayback Machine Reuters, 1 May 2021
  2. ^ a b "Fundamental freedoms generally respected in Bulgarian elections, but media shortcomings, lack of issue-driven campaign fail to engage voters, observers say". www.osce.org. Archived from the original on 2021-07-12. Retrieved 2021-07-13.
  3. ^ a b "Bulgaria faces fresh elections as Socialists refuse to form a government". Reuters. 2021-09-02. Archived from the original on 2021-09-05. Retrieved 2021-09-06.
  4. ^ a b "Bulgaria's President: Parliamentary and presidential elections will be '2 in 1' on November 14". The Sofia Globe. 2021-09-11. Archived from the original on 2021-09-11. Retrieved 2021-09-11.
  5. ^ Electoral system for national legislature – Bulgaria Archived 2021-07-07 at the Wayback Machine IDEA
  6. ^ "Ultra-nationalists, populists form 'Bulgarian Patriots' alliance for July elections". The Sofia Globe. 20 May 2021. Archived from the original on 21 May 2021. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  7. ^ Tsolova, Tsvetelia (2 April 2021). "Bulgarian PM woos rural voters with infrastructure in tough re-election bid". Reuters. Archived from the original on 16 July 2021. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  8. ^ a b Nuttal, Grace (8 July 2021). "Diaspora voters set to choose change in Bulgaria and Moldova". bne IntelliNews. Archived from the original on 16 July 2021. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  9. ^ a b Toshkov, Veselin (12 July 2021). "Anti-elite party earns tight win in Bulgarian elections". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 12 July 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  10. ^ a b "37.4% of Generation Z supports There is Such a People party: survey". Radio Bulgaria. 13 July 2021. Archived from the original on 13 July 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  11. ^ "Демографски профили на вота – 12 July". Галъп интернешънъл (in Bulgarian). 2021-07-12. Retrieved 2022-08-10.
  12. ^ a b c "Bulgaria's Winning Party Withdraws Proposed Cabinet, Paving Way For New Vote". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Archived from the original on 2021-08-14. Retrieved 2021-08-14.
  13. ^ a b c "Bulgaria Edges Closer to Third Election in a Year". Balkan Insight. 2021-08-10. Archived from the original on 2021-08-13. Retrieved 2021-08-14.
  14. ^ "Bulgaria could be heading for third general election in a year". euronews. 2021-08-10. Archived from the original on 2021-08-14. Retrieved 2021-08-14.
  15. ^ "Bulgaria to hold presidential election on Nov. 14". Reuters. 2021-09-02. Archived from the original on 2021-09-02. Retrieved 2021-09-02.
  16. ^ "Bulgaria will hold November 14 presidential vote amid political crisis". POLITICO. 2021-09-02. Archived from the original on 2021-09-02. Retrieved 2021-09-02.