In a previous column where I wrote about my prediction ahead of the presidential election, I said that Erdoğan would receive 54 percent of the votes and the difference with his opponent would be 15 percent. Even though these figures seem different at first sight, in fact, they all came true. The studies that reflected the trend of the electorate living abroad showed that two-thirds of them felt drawn to the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), and my forecasting took their preferences into consideration. However, the Supreme Election Board (YSK) put forward a very interesting implementation. It stipulated that each electorate living abroad should individually get appointments from the Turkish consulates; however, this did not yield a result.
A great number of voters were unable to find a contact person when they went to the consulates on time, and worse still, they did not have time to wait as they had to get back to work. Oddly enough, these people were not given the right to make a new appointment. As it became clear that the situation would cause a scandal, the AK Party applied to the YSK and requested that everyone should be allowed to cast their votes at the weekend without appointment. However, the YSK refused this reasonable demand, and the voting rate remained below 10 percent abroad. Strangely, almost none of the Western observers regarded this situation as a problem. Perhaps this was because they favored any development that would cause Erdoğan to receive fewer votes.
Getting back to the figures, if the electoral turnout abroad had been the same as it was inside the country, Erdoğan would have taken 53.5 percent and İhsanoğlu would have remained at 38.5 percent. In other words, a 15-point difference would have occurred between Erdoğan and İhsanoğlu. Previously this difference was between the AK Party and the Republican People's Party (CHP); however, this time it was between the AK Party and the coalition of CHP and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). It seems that two-thirds of their 15.5 million votes came from the CHP's electorate, which indicates the CHP's voting rate as 26 percent. In short, Erdoğan doubled the votes of his main challenger.
In this situation, the ambiguous 2 million votes that went between the AK Party and the MHP have great significance. This group, which supported the MHP in the local elections, upholds the AK Party in general elections. Therefore, it is possible to say that the maximum vote that İhsanoğlu could have garnered would be 41 percent, which means that he did not perform so badly. It is also possible to say that the Kurdish political movement's candidate, Selahattin Demirtaş, came second in the election. He received votes both from the AK Party and the CHP for various reasons. Many Kurdish proponents of the AK Party wanted Demirtaş to receive a high vote in the first round. Some of the supporters of the CHP voted for Demirtaş as they found İhsanoğlu's conservative stance strange. The increase of votes from 6.1 percent in local elections to 9.8 percent in the presidential election may seem spectacular. However, if the turnout was around 90 percent as it was in the local elections, the vote of Demirtaş would be 8.5 percent and this reflects the reality better. It is highly probable that these aforementioned additional votes may go back to the AK Party in the next general elections.
One of the oft-told statements about the election was that CHP's grassroots did not go to polls, which contradicts the available data. The turnout in the coastal cities, which were largely inhabited by the CHP electorate, was around 80 percent, while it was around 70 percent in the cities where the AK Party was the strongest. In other words, those who did not actually head to polls were proponents of the AK Party. The most important reason for this is that the seasonal workers in the fields of agriculture and construction did not leave their jobs to go to polling stations.
In the light of all this data, it is possible to say that the minimum vote of the AK Party will be 46 percent and the turnout will be 90 percent in the upcoming general elections. In response to this, the maximum votes of the CHP, the MHP and the HDP will be 25, 13 and 9 percent, respectively. Therefore, we need to be prepared for another landslide victory for the AK Party.