President Tayyip Erdoğan, who lectures everyone on politics taken the moral high ground, asked main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu 10 questions in his speech in which he defamed his political opponents with expressions such as “slut” and “rotten” in his ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) parliamentary group meeting.
CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu immediately answered these questions and asked 10 questions in response. His answer to the question “Do you have the courage to be a (presidential) candidate,” was the most striking of all.
“Declare early elections, our candidate is ready,” the CHP leader said as if he was thinking that if early elections were held, toppling Erdoğan will be a piece of cake.
However, the latest poll results show that if early elections are held in the autumn months as the opposition wishes, the result is not that much of a guarantee for Kılıçdaroğlu, CHP and the Six-Party opposition coalition within the current political circumstances.
The research company MetroPoll’s recent poll indicates why early elections may not be a piece of cake for the opposition.
It would be useful for Kılıçdaroğlu to take these figures into account so that he does not jump into an empty pool with the words of the party officials saying, “We are ahead by a landslide”.
AKP declines but CHP does not
Let’s start with the details that may have an impact on the end result. The Victory Party (Zafer Partisi, ZP) made its first appearance on the radar screen with the Syrian-immigrants debate; it seems to have left some parties behind with 1.8 percent. Grand Unity Party (BBP), one of the parties that make up the ruling People’s Alliance, has 0.5 percent, that is, below half a percent. So are the Future Party (Gelecek Partisi) and the Democratic Party (DP), both members of the Six-Party Opposition Coalition. DEVA, another amongst the six, is slightly below with 1.3 percent, while Saadet (Felicity Party) displays a stagnant image with 1.6 percent.
But the party which records no change is the CHP. In comparison to what? In comparison to 2018 elections. On June 24, 2018, the CHP received exactly 22.6 percent of the votes. Despite the local election victory in 2019 and the economic crisis we are dragged into due to Erdogan’s economic policies and global trends, the CHP is still at 22.6 percent.
Again considering the 2018 election results, the biggest loss is in the AKP. The ruling party seems to have lost the support of almost one in four voters, falling from 42.6 percent to 32.7 percent. The votes of the People’s Alliance partner MHP, which was 11.1 percent in 2018, drop to around 8 percent if there were elections today.
The biggest gain is in the IYI Party. Its votes, which were 10.0 in 2018, appear 15.1 percent in MetroPoll estimates for the end of May. The 50 percent increase rate is not bad at all. HDP is one of the parties that increased its support in this process; Its support, which was 11.7 percent in 2018, seems to have increased to 13.8.
Balances that are not “piece of cake” and HDP
According to these estimates, the total votes of the AKP and MHP in the People’s Alliance is 40.7, when only the parties with at least one percent votes taken into an account. The estimated total votes of the parties in the same position in the Nation Alliance is 40.1 percent.
In other words, the votes that Erdogan and whoever opposes him are not enough to win in the first round of the election, which is what we call a piece of cake.
Of course, HDP does not represent all the Kurdish votes. There is serious conservative Kurdish voter support for the AKP. The rapprochement between the AKP and HUDA-PAR draws attention after some of the Hezbollah members were released from prison recently. There are centre-right Kurdish voters in the East and Southeast who tend to shift to the CHP.
However, in any case, it is important to attract HDP votes for an alliance that wants to win, whether in the first or second round of the election. Based on these estimates, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the HDP nominate its own candidate in the first round, perhaps Selahattin Demirtaş, who was imprisoned.
If politics is also the mastery of using the trump card, HDP may also want to use this method, which is the right of every party from MHP to BBP.