According to the latest data, who is ahead in the presidential race? Will the election be over in the first round? What do you predict in this regard?
Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu is ahead and it will not end in the first round. There is a one and a half point difference in favor of him. There are 5 points in favour of Muharrem İnce and 2 points for Sinan Oğan. Therefore, the sum of the votes of the two outside candidates, who have very few votes, is around 7 points. These 7 points will divide the votes enough to lead directly to a second round election.
When was this data collected, what method was used, how many people were interviewed? Please clarify.
Its the April issue of our monthly Turkey’s Pulse survey. Field work was conducted on April 1-3. 2000-odd people were interviewed. We did it by telephone interview. It covers 28 provinces of Turkey. There is a two percent margin of error.
You conduct these surveys continuously and regularly. What are the changes you’ve seen? The indicators seem to have shifted a bit more in favor of Kılıçdaroğlu. What other important variables are there? Let’s also talk about the maverick—the Muharrem İnce factor.
The April survey should not be seen only as limited to April. We need to go back for a while, at least back to January – before the earthquake. Because the earthquake and the swing of of Kılıçdaroğlu’s votes are events that could be a game-changer.
In January, the AKP’s vote was 34%, before the distribution of swing voters and 39% after the distribution. The CHP’s vote was 22% before the distribution of swing voters and 26% after.
There has been no change in the CHP’s vote since then; it is still in the 18-22% margin. The AK Party’s vote decreased first by 2 points and then by 3 points in February and March. In April, it went back up to the January level. In January, Erdoğan was ahead of Kılıçdaroğlu in the presidential race. Last March, Erdoğan had 42 percent and Kılıçdaroğlu 44.6 percent.
We did not ask about Muharrem İnce and the others that month, because their candidacies had not been officially declared when we took to the field.
In April, Muharrem İnce’s vote is 5 % and Sinan Oğan’s vote is 2%. Erdoğan’s vote is 41 % and Kılıçdaroğlu’s, 42.6 %.
Therefore, let’s say the final situation is 41 to 42.5% in the presidential race. This is important, because Erdoğan was ahead of Kılıçdaroğlu for a long time.
For a long time there was a perception that “Kılıçdaroğlu cannot win.” According to your observations since January, has the perception that “Kılıçdaroğlu cannot win” been broken? What is Kılıçdaroğlu’s course from now on?
The perception that “Kılıçdaroğlu cannot win for sure” has been broken. But looking at the current data, I do not believe that the claim or prediction that “Kılıçdaroğlu will win or is winning” is correct.
There is a one and a half point, 2 point difference between the two. This is a difference within the limits of error. In other words, if you look statistically, 41 and 42 are equal to each other – a knife-edge situation.
But there is something interesting. The 42 band seems to be a barricade for Erdoğan, preventing upward movement. There is no such obstacle or barricade in front of Kılıçdaroğlu.
So he can rise, up to 45. But even this is not enough for someone to win in the first round.
They will make it to the second round in any case.
But if Muharrem İnce withdraws as a candidate, or if his vote drops to an insignificant level, the conditions will change in the next month.
All of what I have said is based on the April measurement, that is, if the elections were held this Sunday. It is not a healthy thing to make sharp predictions a month before, in Turkey’s conditions.
The phenomenon of Muharrem İnce has entered the picture in the last two months and it has been surprising. What is the Muharrem İnce trend evolving towards?
There is a lot of information pollution in public opinion. There are very different results. For example, we found Muharrem İnce at 5 percent 15-20 days ago, but I have heard people who found him at 13-14 percent, 15 percent.
Time is a parameter here. Muharrem İnce rose suddenly. These sudden rises bring a fall again in a short time. No normal curve, no change in the normal social fabric. If it suddenly rises, it will definitely go down somewhere.
But it would be useful to take a look at Mr. Muharrem’s vote source. Ince does not appeal to nationalists. It is not right to compartmentalize his voters as nationalists, religionists, etc.
The general character of his voters, they are protest people, opposition people. Ince opposes both the government and the opposition.
His supporters find the government unsuccessful and the opposition inadequate. They are looking for a place to go. And Ince is a good orator and a fighter.
He seems to have created a place for these people. Opposition voters identified themselves with where he is and tossed themselves there. But it does not mean they will stay there.
These are not loyal voters. Voter loyalty builds over time. Voter loyalty does not form in 3 months. An event happens, something unexpected happens, half of these voters go elsewhere.
We looked at how the voters who said they would vote for Ince voted in the last election. It is very interesting.
Only 21 percent of them are from the AK Party and 18 percent from the CHP. In other words, 1 in 5 voted for the AK Party on June 24, and 17-18 percent voted for the CHP. These people do not come from a single social, ethnic or political viewpoint. It is a male-dominated electorate. In other words, if Ince withdraws from the nomination, approximately 30 percent will go to CHP, 24 percent to AK Party, 23 percent to Sinan Oğan. Social and political events can easily affect such groups. If Ince insists on running, he may remain below the threshold. The elections will go to the second round.
What is your prediction for the second round?
If this trend continues, that is, if the difference in votes between Erdoğan and Kılıçdaroğlu remains close, let’s say one of them is ahead by two or three points, In this case, we go to the second round.
The factor that will affect the outcome of the election in the second round will be the number of deputies that the parties in parliament will win (in the first leg). Currently, the vote of the (ruling) People’s Alliance is around 45%; the vote of the (oppositional) Nation Alliance is around 37 – 38%. The pro-Kurdish HDP remains solid, around 12-13%.
So, if 45 % of the People’s Alliance voters and 37-38% of the National Alliance voters are reflected in the election in exactly this way, it will mean that the People’s Alliance will exceed 300 seats in parliament. This would be a great advantage for Erdoğan. Then those who oppose may act more laxly. Because usually apolitical voters, undecided voters prefer the powerful.
Of course, the number of deputies in the parliament alone is not enough. There is Muharrem İnce and 13% of swing voters. Therefore, if this table is reflected in the election, if the People’s Alliance gets 45 percent, I think it can exceed 300 deputies, gaining control of the chamber.