The partner of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in the People's Alliance, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), surprised many pre-election pollsters with its performance in Sunday's elections, receiving over 10 percent, as many pollsters said it would not surpass 10 percent.
The MHP received 11.11 percent of the votes, securing 48 seats in Parliament. These numbers are actually quite similar to the party's results in previous general elections; In November 2015, the MHP had 11.9 percent of the votes and 40 parliamentary seats. Beyond preserving its votes, the party increased its votes in 45 provinces. However, since the snap elections and the announcement of the alliance between the MHP and the AK Party, most polls were expecting the party to lose a considerable number of votes, going as low as 5-6 percent for various reasons.
One of the main reasons was that the MHP lost five deputies to the newly formed the Good Party (İP) founded by Meral Akşener and several other MHP dissidents. The emergence of the İP led to assumptions that the MHP would also lose a considerable number of supporters for the İP, as well. On Sunday, the İP received 9.97 percent of the vote. Another reason might be the MHP's declining percentage trend in previous election results. The party had 16.3 percent of the votes in the June 2015 elections and 80 seats in Parliament, which declined to 11.9 percent in the November 2015 elections, causing the party to lose half its parliamentary seats. These reasons, combined with the party's decision to support a joint candidate, caused many to assume that the MHP was losing power among the people of Turkey and thus seeking alternative routes to preserve its position. The general manager of pollster KONDA Research, Bekir Ağırdır, for instance said in May that MHP's vote potential was around 5 percent. Similarly, according to research conducted by the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), the expected vote percentage of the MHP was 7.1 percent. Vera Research also miscalculated the party's vote percentage, saying that it would take 7.3 percent. These survey results outraged MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli, calling those who predicted that his party would receive 5-6 percent "dishonorable."
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