In general, Bulgarians accept and support the state of emergency. This is indicated by snap poll among 1000 Bulgarian adults conducted between March 20th and 23rd by Gallup International.
When asked about how they evaluate the authorities’ response to the epidemic:
- 66% say that the measures are enough;
- 17% claim that the measures are too much (are too strict);
- 15% think that the measures are not enough.
This basic perception results in a significant boost of confidence for the government:
Government activities as a whole are approved by: 74%
against disapproval of: 22%.
Ministry of the Interior activities are approved by: 80%
against disapproval of: 15%
The activities by the Ministry of Healthcare are approved by: 83%
against disapproval of: 12%
The activities of the Ministry of Education are approved by: 86%
against disapproval of: 10%
The personal levels of confidence in the state representatives and leaders at the moment looks as follows:
- Boyko Borisov +75% against -21%
- Mutafchiyski +89% against -10%
- Vladislav Goranov +45 against -26%
- Tomislav Donchev +54 against -18%
Particularly high levels of approval are registered for:
- Medics (doctors) (+91%) and
- Teachers (+87%)
According to the results societal reaction to the epidemic could be broken down into three groups:
- Panic (22%)
- Anxious (64%)
- Calm (12%)
More than a fifth of the adult Bulgarians are deeply convinced that the current epidemic is one of the worst things that has ever happened to humanity. This exaggeration may be directly related to the fact that over a third of Bulgarians consider the risk of dying of the Coronavirus as actual. This panic attitude is dangerous itself. Mainly because it provokes pressure for over-repressive panic measures by the authorities. As many as 37% of the respondents admit that they personally fear the coronavirus.
However, two thirds of the population are not captivated by panic, but are more or less anxious by the situation. This is also artificially reinforced by the growing perception that the epidemic is deadly not only for the elderly and the chronically ill, but also for the young and children (45%).
Too many Bulgarians (67%) believe that this coronavirus did not emerge naturally, but is a laboratory-made one. Again, nearly the same majority (66%) think that humankind will soon have a cure for the virus.
The good news is the confirmed by the survey fact that people take mass actions against the epidemic:
Practically everyone claims to wash their hands more often;
80% use disinfectants;
90% restricted their personal visits
5% are fighting the epidemic with protection masks.
People not only accept, but also approve the government’s restrictive measures. Between 88% and 94% of the respondents approve:
- The ban of all public meetings;
- The closing of borders for foreigners;
- Banning Bulgarians from traveling abroad.
However public opinion is divided when it comes to:
- City-to-city travel ban: +56% vs. -4%
- Restriction on going out in the night +59 vs. -39%
Initiative mass fear that food and medicine will vanish from the market seem to be less spread now: 13% to 27%.
On the other hand, concerns raise in the mass psyche about the economic impact of the epidemic – people fear that:
– They will lose their job – 20%
– They will not be able to pay off their loans – 29%
– They will not be able to cover household bills – 38%
In addition, 3% of the respondents claim that the have already lost their jobs!
Overall (as indicated in the last survey conducted by Gallup international Association in 28 countries), Bulgaria is a “middle” case in Europe and the world. This is directly reflected in Bulgarian attitudes in the current situation.
When asked “Which of the following (decease) control model do you think is most correct:
- Repressive/ “Chinese”
- Restrictive/ “European”
- Free/ “Swedish”
Bulgarians are divided as follows:
- Pro “Chinese” model: 30%
- Pro “European” model: 42%
- Pro “Swedish” model: 23%
Bulgarians rather believe that Bulgaria is doing relatively well against backdrop of other countries (87%). Avoiding massive migrant wave from Turkey only recently is largely seen as a specific advantage in this situation (89%).
CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interview)
n=1000, nationally representative for the population aged 18+
Absolute maximum error ± 3.0 at 50% shares
1% of the sample equals 55 000 people