If one usually knows what people like about their preferred political parties, one is less aware of what voters dislike about their parties. This is what we investigated at TurkiyeRaporu.com.
In the past few years, Turkey has held many elections. Though each of the parliament's five parties have solid voter bases, our results showed more variance compared to the past. They suggested that in order to succeed in upcoming elections, the parties should focus on attracting swing voters. An equally important strategy would be to prevent these voters from fleeing to other parties or not voting at all.
For our second report of February 2020, we asked the respondents which party they voted for in the 2018 General Elections and what they disliked the most about the party they voted for. 46.8% of the respondents, coming evenly from each party base, did not have a specific answer to this open-ended question. 25% of the respondents, on the other hand, claimed that the party they voted for did not have any negative aspects. That entails that the remaining 28.2% had at least some level of disagreement with their party.
As Turkey's main political parties vary greatly, it comes as no surprise that the most common answer given by each of the party bases differed from each other. Amongst AK Party voters, the most disliked subjects differed the most from the others. As the party has been ruling the country for 18 years, the concerns were mostly related to tangible policies. 12% of the AK Party voters complained over the fact that their party was responsible for the current state of the Turkish economy. 5.5% complained about the policies regarding the Syrian Civil War.
6.6% of the CHP voters said that the party leader, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu - who has been in the office for the past ten years - was their least favored aspect regarding the party. Though there is an upcoming general assembly inside the CHP, Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu is expected to retain his position even if another candidate reveals himself. 6.3% of the CHP voters complained their party was not sufficiently active.
With only 14.6% of the İYİ Party voters expressing an inconvenience regarding their party, it was the party whose supporters had the least complaints. 4.4% of them complained the party was not sufficiently active. Though the majority of the party's voter base had nothing to complaint about, 4.2% of them said they liked nothing about their party. It is safe to presume that these voters would shift to other parties if an election was held.
9.4% of MHP voters complained about “dishonesty”. An additional 4.9% were discontented with their party being in alliance with AK Party, which indicates a disparity between the party's rulers and followers.
As for HDP voters, no dominant answers were provided. Their main concern was the imprisonment of their party members with 3.2%, which actually shows dissatisfaction with the judiciary system rather than the HDP. 2.8% blamed the HDP for being dishonest.
Turkey's two largest parties also have the most disgruntled base. Yet our polling also indicates voters are stuck. There are many low-hanging fruits for new parties to reach out and grab. But as Ahmet Davutoğlu has thus far failed to spur much excitement, all eyes are on Ali Babacan and his strategy.