Support for AK Party increases as majority calls for early elections

SENA ALKAN @senaalkan
ISTANBUL
Published

A recent survey of public sentiment regarding Turkey's current political situation of forming a coalition government or early elections found a majority of respondents favor snap elections

Almost three-quarters of participants in a recent survey conducted by the Ankara-based Objective Research Center (ORC) indicated that they are in favor of early elections as opposed to a coalition government. Conducted in 36 provinces with the participation of 3,200 citizens between July 11 and July 15, the ORC survey found that 72 percent of participants supported early elections and 28 percent support the formation of a coalition government.

Failure to form a coalition government will lead to early election in November. According to the survey, 90.2 percent of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) voters who participated support early elections, whereas only 9.8 percent back a coalition government. Among Republican People's Party (CHP) voters, the percentages are closer to each other with 57.9 percent responding that early elections should take place, while 42.1 percent support a coalition government. As for Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) voters in the survey, 85.3 percent support early elections and 14.7 percent want a coalition government. The survey found 81.9 percent of participants who voted for the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) support the formation of a coalition government while only 18.1 percent want early elections.

When the survey asked participants with which party they would want their party to form a coalition government, 88 percent of AK Party voters prefer the MHP, whereas 8.4 percent support a coalition with the CHP and 3.6 percent favor forming an alliance with the HDP. According to CHP voters in the survey, 81.6 percent support a coalition government with the MHP and HDP, while 18.4 percent favor a coalition with the AK Party. As for MHP voters in the survey, 96.5 percent support a coalition government with the AK Party while 3.5 percent want to see the MHP in a coalition with the CHP and HDP. For participants who are HDP voters, 56.7 percent support a coalition government with the AK Party and 43.3 percent indicated their preference for a coalition with the CHP and MHP, according to the poll.

Regarding the question posed to CHP voters in the survey of whether they would continue to vote for the party in upcoming elections if it joins a coalition government with the AK Party, 51.8 percent replied affirmatively that they would vote, 35.5 percent said they would not and 12.7 percent were undecided. In response to the same question for AK Party voters, 83 percent said that they would still vote for the AK Party if there is a coalition government with the CHP, 9.6 percent indicated they would not and 7.4 percent were undecided.

As Turkey is wrestling with forming a coalition government or heading to early elections, the survey found voting tendencies have started to change. It found that in the event of early elections, votes for the AK Party would increase to 43.5 percent, the CHP's votes would increase to 27 percent while the MHP would see a decrease in its votes to 15.5 percent and the HDP would decrease to 10.9 percent.The AK Party received the most votes in the June 7 parliamentary elections, receiving 40.87 percent of the vote. The CHP received the second most votes with 24.95 percent followed by 16.29 percent for the MHP and 13.12 percent for the HDP. The survey showed that the biggest regression in votes would be from the HDP mostly due to increasing aggression against the outlawed PKK's terror activities in eastern Turkey and the HDP's statements diverging from a peaceful discourse.

92.5 percent out of those surveyed said that there is no need for a new political party in Turkey, while 7.5 percent are in favor of seeing a new party on the Turkish political stage.

Regarding the new constitution that has been on the country's agenda for a long time, 78 percent said that the country needs a new constitution, while 22 percent does not believe so. Turkey's current Constitution dates back to 1982 and was drafted after the 1980 military coup. Despite numerous revisions over the last 30 years, according to constitutional experts, it still bears the stamp of military tutelage.

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