Duvar English

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) receives support from the voters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), according to a poll carried out by the CHP.

The poll conducted to measure people’s satisfaction with 11 metropolitan municipalities run by the CHP showed that support for the party’s mayors have increased since last year’s March 31 local elections.

According to the poll, the CHP receives votes from all parties in the said 11 municipalities, including the Good (İYİ) Party and the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). Seven percent of AKP and MHP voters said that they would vote for the CHP if elections were held this Sunday, the poll said.

“We are becoming the second choice of other parties’ voters. There are transition of votes from the AKP and MHP to the CHP. It seems that the transition of votes from the AKP to the MHP has paused, but the transition itself is ongoing,” a CHP official told Duvar.

The AKP suffered its biggest defeat in years in the municipal elections of last year, losing all the major cities, including Istanbul and the capital Ankara, to the main opposition.

The poll also showed that CHP supporters who previously refrained from going to the ballot boxes would go and vote if elections were held.

“The psychological barrier against the CHP has started to be overcome,” said the party in its evaluations of the survey, adding that interaction with a wider spectrum of voters is more likely when compared to previous elections.

A factor that’s believed to have facilitated and accelerated the overcoming of the psychological barrier is the foundation of new parties. CHP officials said that the new parties weakened the AKP and that the risk of partition within the ruling party effects voter behavior.

Former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu founded the Future Party late last year following his resignation from the AKP. Another party led by former Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, who also resigned from the AKP, is on the way.

The ability of the People’s Alliance – an alliance formed by the AKP and the MHP – in electing a president has decreased, but it’s still in place in the 11 municipalities, the poll said, adding that changes in the other provinces that constitute 55 percent of the voters also bear significance.

The new parties may create an effect in the remaining provinces and that may lead to the ending of the ability of electing a president, CHP officials noted.

The main opposition is planning to carry out another poll towards the end of February to get a better understanding of voter behavior with regards to the new parties.