Bulgaria joined the European Union in 2007 and conducted its first European Parliament that year when a by-election elected 18 MEPs. This will fall to 17 MEPs next weekend, with all being elected by proportional representation from a single national electorate. The 2007 result was:
- Citizens for European Development (European People’s Party) – 21.68%, 5 seats
- European Socialists Platform (Party of European Socialists) – 21.41%, 5 seats
- Movement for Rights and Freedoms (European Liberal Democrats and Reform) – 20.26%, 4 seats
- National Union Attack (Extreme nationalist) – 14.20%, 3 seats
- National Movement for Stability and Progress (ELDR) – 6.27%, 1 seat
- Union of Democratic Forces (EPP) – 4.74%
- Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria (EPP) – 4.35%
Recent polls have shown support for the centre-right Citizens for European Development (GERB) around 31-32% in recent weeks. The centre-left Socialists are polling 20-26%. Support for the liberal ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms has dropped from 20% to 12-13%. Likewise support for the far-right National Union Attack has dropped slightly, to 10-11%, which would threaten one of their three MEPs.
There is also a conservative “Blue Coalition” running in the election, including the Union of Democratic Forces, Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria and two smaller parties, who collectively polled 12.5% in 2007, but all failed to individually reach the 5% threshold. Polls suggest they will pass the threshold and win seats.