The political arena in Bulgaria has witnessed cyclical waves of populism since the break-up of bi-polar competition in 2001. The cyclical rise in demand for ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ versions of populism is typical for post-socialist Bulgaria, and often comes with a dose of nationalism, most visibly represented by the populist radical right party Ataka since 2005. The party has experienced slow but steady electoral decline over the past several years due to its institutionalization through its ‘marriage of convenience’ with the governing center-right GERB. Another contributing factor was the tacit support Ataka gave to the new government led by the socialists after the early elections in 2013, following the so-called ‘winter of discontent,’ which somewhat unexpectedly helped Ataka jump over the threshold of parliamentary representation again. However, the interplay between the center-right and the radical right caused the ‘mainstreaming’ of Ataka into Bulgarian political life. Yet the interplay of Ataka with the mainstream parties has opened up space for the rapid growth of a number of other marginal populist radical right formations on both party and sub-party level. Moreover, it has created demand for even ‘harder’ versions of populism offered by these new groups. Further impact of Ataka is visible by the adoption of the party’s abrasive rhetoric and behavior by other political actors and their acceptance among the public at large.