TABLE-Bulgaria's centre-right takes opinion poll lead before European vote

by Reuters
Thursday, 20 March 2014 14:05 GMT

SOFIA, March 20 (Reuters) - Bulgaria's centre-right GERB party, led by former Prime Minister Boiko Borisov, took a slight lead in an opinion poll released on Thursday, climbing ahead of the ruling Socialists two months before the European elections. The poll by Gallup International, which surveyed 1,007 Bulgarians between March 7 and 13, showed support for the main opposition GERB party rose to 20.7 percent from 17.7 percent the previous month. Backing for the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) increased to 19.5 percent in March from 18.9 in February. The previous GERB government fell last February amid protests over high utility bills and corruption. The European Union elections on May 25 will be a test for Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski's minority coalition of Socialists and the ethnic Turkish MRF party. Support for the MRF party was 6.0 percent and backing for the newly-formed Bulgaria without Censorship party and its ally, the nationalist party VMRO, was 5.0 percent. Former Socialist President Georgi Parvanov's Alternative for Bulgarian Revival (ABV) movement came fifth in the poll with 3.2 percent. Earlier this year, Parvanov said he would run a separate list of candidates. PARTY Alpha Gallup Gallup Research When poll conducted Feb March Feb GERB 16.9 20.7 17.7 Socialist party (BSP) 15.1 19.5 18.9 Movement for Rights and 6.9 6.0 6.7 Freedom (MRF) Bulgaria without 5.5 5.0 6.1 Censorship/VMRO Alternative for Bulgarian 6.1 3.2 6.0 Revival (ABV) Reformist Bloc 5.0 3.1 4.6 (Reporting by Angel Krasimirov)

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