Anticipations for the elections

Published 30.10.2015 02:02
Updated 30.10.2015 02:08
There are two days left until Turkey goes back to the polls on Nov. 1 after the failure of parties to form a government after the June 7 elections.
There are two days left until Turkey goes back to the polls on Nov. 1 after the failure of parties to form a government after the June 7 elections.

When all factors are combined from a realistic point of view, calculations reveal that the AK Party can receive 279 deputies in Parliament, which means a renewed single-party period is on its way in Turkey

Turkey will experience one of the most exciting elections in its political history this Sunday since there is a certain degree of suspense, and the outcome can determine the following decade. The suspense is about whether the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) will come to power alone or not. If this is achieved, a new period of AK Party hegemony, which will not be affected by the Peoples' Democratic Party's (HDP) passing the 10 percent national election threshold, might be introduced. When looked at from this perspective, it can be said that the AK Party is about to undergo a real political test. Coming to power alone requires making less mistakes and presenting a rational future to the society, but it is evident that the AK Party is exhausted. Consequently, conditions are appropriate to prevent AK Party rule. But what if the AK Party achieves the number of deputies necessary to enable it to come to power alone despite all that? In that case we can anticipate that the party will be more advantaged for the next elections and a new 10-year period may start from 2015.

The question revolves around whether obtaining this majority is realistic or not. Survey companies are seemingly split in two. Some surveys show the AK Party's vote share around 39 percent to 40 percent and some show it at 43 percent to 44 percent, and one eve says it stands at 47 percent. In those surveys, on which ideological dissidences are strongly influential, scientific criteria seem to have lost their sense because what really matters is to reach a sample that has the right ability for representation in this rapidly changing political environment. In Turkey, there is no survey company that has this flexibility and potential for social influence.

The first question is the possibility and rate of AK Party voters which not voting for the AK Party in the upcoming elections even though they voted for it in June. Some qualitative studies say that there might be such a group among Kurds while others now favor the AK Party even more than they did in June. The AK Party's vote share from Kurdish voters corresponds to nearly three points. When we assume that half of this will be lost, we can argue that the minimum vote share of the party is 39.5 percent.

On the other hand, the AK Party lost nine points in June when compared to the previous elections. The distribution of this loss includes 4.5 points from Kurdish voters that went to the HDP, 2 points from conservatives that went to the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and 2.5 points from AK Party proponents who did not vote. The last group is actually a 4-point group because when some ballots are not cast, all parties have a share from it according to their ratio, and the AK Party has 1.5 points from this share.

Each of these groups has a different behavioral pattern. The qualitative studies also reveal that AK Party proponents who voted for the HDP for the first time in June are not pleased with their decision but they do not want to vote for the AK Party, either. On the other hand, a group corresponding to 1.5 points might prefer not voting. This behavior can bring 0.5 points to the AK Party. Voters inclined to the MHP are also disturbed by MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli's attitude, and seemingly half of them will vote for the AK Party again, which means an additional one point. AK Party proponents who did not vote in June are expected to change their attitude due to stability efforts and recovered performance of the AK Party. If people corresponding to 3 points vote for the AK Party, this would mean an increase of 2 points. Additionally, 0.5 points are possible from proponents of small-scale parties.

When we combine all these factors, we can say that the AK Party's vote share is between 39.5 and 45 percent, and it will attain 43.5 percent if all these assumptions come true. This would mean 15 extra deputies. It is also realistic to foresee that six of eight deputy seats, which were lost with a slight difference in votes in June, can be taken this time thanks to additional votes from abroad and having better candidates.

These calculations reveal that the AK Party can have 279 deputies in Parliament even though it is approached with caution. A more realistic approach probably indicates 285 deputies. In any case, it is impossible for a long while to reverse the change introduced with AK Party rule.

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