As the Covid-19 crisis gradually subsides in Europe, many countries are facing parliamentary elections.
One legacy of the pandemic has been the increased interest in issues relating to social policy, health and education.
That in turn has led to a rise in popularity for left-wing formations and policies.
Take Bulgaria, where Socialist Party leader Cornelia Ninova has formed a large left-wing coalition that many are citing as a model example.
Its progress is being watched with considerable interest by other left-wing formations across the Continent who, similarly, are searching for electoral success.
Ninova has agreed a deal with three smaller parties, one of which is led by Georgi Parvanov, Bulgaria’s former president.
“This is not an easy coalition, but it is necessary for Bulgaria,” said Ninova when announcing the agreement.
The allies will appear with a joint list at the elections, which take place on July 11th.
The example set by the Socialist formation is predicted to pave the way for other parties and civil organisations with common policies to join forces.
In what represents enormous progress for Bulgaria in the fight against corruption, these will be the first elections when voting will be handled almost exclusively by voting machines, with the exception of small polling sections where there are fewer than 300 voters.
And this time there will be no restrictions on the number of polling sections overseas – previously, there were up to 35 for non-EU countries.
Post-Brexit, the UK falls into this category and a record number of Bulgarians are likely to vote from there. They are one of the most sizable Bulgarian groups outside Bulgaria – as of May this year, over 260,000 have applied for a permanent residence in Britain, a number that is only growing.
At April’s elections there were 13 polling sections in London alone, and 22 more in other cities across the UK. Voters queued for hours in order to exercise their right to vote, especially in Nottingham, Chester and London. In total, more than 32,000 Bulgarians voted in the UK.