For its election of MEPs last month, Bulgaria switched to a system that allowed for preference voting. The Sofia Globe reports that the system produced surprises for a couple of parties.
According to a document I have from the European Parliament* for the 2014 elections, Bulgaria’s system permits one candidate preference, and if a candidate obtains 15% of the list’s valid votes, that candidate moves to the top of the list. In the Globe article, it is noted that the Bulgarian Socialist Party leader was bumped by “a hitherto obscure candidate” originally ranked 15th on the list. Something similar happened to the Reformist Bloc, which is an alliance of parties and the one MEP they will send is from a small partner in the alliance.
* Wilhem Lehman, The European elections: EU legislation, national provisions, and civic participation. Policy Department C – Citizens’ RIghts and Constitutional Affairs. 2014.