According to Turkish polling firm Metropoll, two new parties expected to be founded by politicians who have broken away from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) could determine the next presidential election if they side with one of the alliances between major parties. The firm’s findings were a result of a September poll looking at how respondents would vote if elections are called early and if elections proceed on-time in 2023.
Speaking about the results, Metropoll head Özer Sencar stated that these two new parties, one likely to be established by former Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan and one party planned to be established by former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, could end up swaying the next election. “Right now if the People’s Alliance (AKP and MHP) and National Alliance (CHP, IYI and HDP) continue the way they are, whichever alliance the new parties side with will be closer to 50+1 percent,” he said, referring to Turkey’s majority electoral system in which over 50% of votes are needed to win a presidential race. “Even if the new parties receive only 5 percent of the vote, they will determine the outcome of the presidential election.”
In the results of the September poll, the People’s Alliance, consisting of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), received 42 percent of the vote, while the National Alliance, consisting of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), the Good Party (İYİ) and the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) received 39 percent of the vote before the undecided votes were distributed. When those votes were distributed, the People’s Alliance received 51 percent and the National Alliance received 47 percent.
Sencar said that in previous surveys, a potential new party led by former Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan would receive one percent more of the vote share than a party established by former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu.
Smaller parties like the Felicity Party (SP), the Patriotic Party (VP), the Democratic Party (DP) and the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) had a total of 2 percent of the popular vote.
Sencar underlined the fact that the study was conducted before Turkey’s Peace Spring operation into northern Syria, saying that a newer survey may show an increase in the AKP’s vote share due to the military action.
Sencar also added that the public currently does not expect early elections to be called.