SOFIA (Reuters) - Growing dissatisfaction with Bulgaria's new Socialist-led government was reflected in a Gallup opinion poll on Tuesday that showed almost half of those surveyed think the government should resign.
Nationwide occupations of universities by students and lecturers have given new impetus to popular protests over alleged corruption since the government came to power in May.
Some 48 percent of Bulgarians polled in November said the cabinet of Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski should step down, up from 41 percent a month earlier and the highest since the government took office, according to the poll.
Only 37 percent said Oresharski should not resign, down from 41 percent in October.
"We are witnessing an increase in public anxiety. The new impulse of the protests have increased the support for the students and hit the popularity of the government," said Parvan Simeonov, an analyst at Gallup International.
"We would need to see the developments next month to see whether the trend is stable," he said.
Many political analysts believe the government will be forced to call early elections next May.
The poll, which surveyed 1,012 Bulgarians between Oct 31 and Nov 7, showed support for the Socialist party dropped by 0.9 percentage points to 21.4 percent in November.
But the main opposition centre-right GERB party also saw support fall, by 1.1 percentage points to 18.1 percent. The previous GERB government fell in February amid protests over high utility bills and corruption.
PARTY Alpha Alpha Gallup Gallup
When poll conducted Oct Sept Nov Oct
Socialist party (BSP) 16.9 17.9 21.4 22.3
GERB 16.5 17.1 18.1 19.2
Movement for Rights and 6.1 6.1 5.9 6.0
Attack 3.0 1.6 2.4 1.4
Reformist Bloc 6.4 7.0 6.7 5.7
(Alpha Research and Gallup are independent polling agencies)
(Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)