Polls show “yes” supporters moving into the “no” block
The AKP, whose vote once numbered in the fifties, is incapable of surpassing its former vote despite having brought the MHP into an alliance with it. The polls are close to the 16 April results.
As election preparations continue, polls gauging the parties’ share of the vote have revealed a distinct problem the AKP is experiencing. The AKP, which in the most recent 1 November 2015 elections took fifty per cent on its own, is having difficulty surpassing fifty per cent this time despite having aligned the MHP with it.
Along with the elections, the main topic of conversation in the parties at the moment is the poll results. Since a vote of fifty per cent plus one is now needed in the presidential election and parties need to work out the electoral support for their alliances and not parties’ individual votes, polls have taken on an even more critical function. Given that the only official alliance to have been formed so far is that between the AKP and MHP, polls are being conducted above all to gauge this alliance’s vote.
The first analysis of how the numbers stack up for the AKP-MHP alliance came from CEO İbrahim Uslu of the ANAR Research Company that conducts polls for the AKP. Uslu, saying, “Just as the party bases reacted in the referendum, they are more or less maintaining these reactions or attitudes,” stated that to a large extent the referendum outcome was being maintained. Uslu, stressing that the alliance “will not amount to 1+1=2 in the presidential election,” said, “We see Erdoğan’s vote in the presidential election at between 51.5 and 52 per cent.” This finding augurs difficulties for the ruling party which took a fifty per cent share of the vote by itself in the most recent 1 November 2015 elections and is only capable of capturing the same support by aligning the MHP with it.
Talk of 43%
The standing of the AKP-MHP alliance is being closely monitored by the opposition parties even if they are not in an official alliance. According to the opposition, the AKP-MHP alliance’s figures have dropped further from where they stood in the referendum. CHP staff say in a relaxed manner while reporting on data that has come their way, “In none of the polls so far is the AKP-MHP alliance capable of exceeding fifty per cent plus one.” The latest information doing the rounds in opposition lobbies is that the AKP-MHP’s share of the vote in the latest polls is 43 per cent. With the source of the 43 per cent figure being ruling party circles, this data takes on extra significance for the opposition.
The detection by the opposition of a decline in the AKP-MHP alliance’s vote is supported by a further analysis. This analysis that is raising the opposition’s hopes over the 2019 presidential election is articulated as follows:
“The ‘yes’ and ‘no’ vote in the referendum has undergone a degree of change in the ensuing one-year period. The polls show this. This change is to the detriment of ‘no’. In the course of one year, a significant portion of the electorate has had second thoughts about voting ‘yes’. This group of voters thinks voting ‘yes’ to have been a mistake. They are thus minded to join the ‘no’ block in the 2019 election, which essentially amounts to a return match in the referendum. But, what is most striking is the all but total absence of people having second thoughts about voting ‘no’. Those voters who voted ‘no’ in the referendum still say ‘no’. This means the ‘no’ block is growing.”
Uslu: the AKP-MHP’s vote will be higher in parliament
ANAR CEO Uslu said that, although the AKP-MHP alliance was at the referendum level in the presidential election, it would get a higher vote in the parliamentary election. Uslu said, “When we currently look at the parliamentary vote, we see that this alliance may poll in excess of 55%. The total of the two parties’ votes works out somewhere in the 55-56% range.”