When it comes to politics, there is not any radical change in the minds of Bulgarians before and after the state of emergency. Several snap polls carried out by ‘Gallup international’ in the months of April and May, show that Bulgarians strongly value the precautions taken by the government against the coronavirus. However, when it comes to overall political questions outside the state of emergency, the situation is not as good.
The conclusions are from ‘Gallup international’s newly recovered independent research programme ‘face to face’, also known as the political and economic index of ‘Gallup international’. The last two waves of research where in February and March, before the state of emergency. After short disruption in April, the programme restarted in the end of May, with ‘Gallup international’ maybe being the first agency, which was able to conduct the research ‘face to face’ after the country reduced its measures for safety. For maximum propriety and accuracy ‘Gallup international’ published its data, only after the first wave was conducted.
In the end of May, 16% of the adult Bulgarians stated that they trust Cveta Karayancheva, the head of the parliament, and 66% stated distrust. 13% where hesitant, and other 5% did not know anything about her. It should be noted that the rating of trust in the head of the parliament is measured every 2 months, respectively the last data is from the end of May, for that reason there is no way to demonstrate how the data might have changed over the course of the constant mentioning of Karatancheva’s name in scandals revolving around the recording. The trust level of the president Rumen Radev in the beginning of June is declared to be 50%. 31% are on the opposite opinion with 17% that are hesitant and only a few who cannot recognize the president. 30% state that they trust Boyko Borissov, 57% – distrust. 12% are hesitant and only 1% do not know who he is.
During the month of March, there was a certain increase in the trust in all institutions – because of the pandemic. Later on, during the state of emergency, the society accumulated high standards and high situational evaluation, most notably towards the operational authority – government, National operational headquarters and others. Nowadays, the standard indicator for trust shows that Bulgarians place the topic of coronavirus in a parallel state, thus there is no sign of any serious transformation of the political layers. The parliament has a trust level of 23% in the start of June and 67% distrust, the government – 30% trust, against 60% distrust. The presidential institution, (the institutional image is moving simultaneously with the personal trust level) receives 52% trust and 33% distrust.
There is still to be measured, if the ongoing scandals would have some kind of effect. The research is concluded before the scandal’s peak.
From the data for Cveta Karayancheva, it would seem that the tendencies are the same as a typical Bulgarian politician – as she is becoming more and more known with the passing of every year, the rate of distrust also decreases. Despite this, the distrust of the Bulgarian head of parliament is still higher than some politicians.
The coronavirus crisis tested the trust in the president, however it still stayed relatively higher than most politicians in our country.
It seems that, Boyko Borissov has a chance of having more strengthened level of trust, after the coronavirus crisis – after some harsh couple of months, in which the share of trust was grounded under 30%.
Signs for stabilization of confidence in the government are evident in the growth of trust levels in almost every politician that is a part of it, when compared to the end of the year ratings (the trust levels where threatened by scandals). Significant part of them now, have a trust rating of around 20%. Of course, not all members of government are well known, usually a lower level of recognition means lower level of trust.
The data is part of the monthly research programme of “Gallup International”. The poll was conducted face-to-face in the period between 4 and 12 June, 2020, across a sample of 809. It is representative for the population of Bulgaria aged 18+. The maximum standard deviation is ±3.5% at 50% shares. 1 per cent of the sample corresponds to about 55,000 people.