Turkey Election Polls: Is Erdogan Fighting a Lost Battle?

Turkey Election Polls (Presidential Average Last 3 Polls): Kılıçdaroğlu (CHP): 55.9% Erdoğan (AKP): 44.06%

Google Trends (Last 7 Days): Erdoğan: 44%, Kılıçdaroğlu: 56%

Social Media Sentiment (Last 7 Days): Erdoğan: -7.2%, Kılıçdaroğlu: +5.2%

Turkey is set to hold an election for electing the new President of Turkey. Despite the call for the postponement of the election due to the earthquake, the incumbent President of Turkey, Tayyip Erdogan signed a decree for the elections to be held on 14 May 2023.

In 2018, Turkey moved from a parliamentary system to a presidential one. The office of the Prime Minister of Turkey was abolished on 12 July 2018. The election was held on 24 June 2018. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan got an outright majority that is over 50% vote share on the first voting day and was elected as President.

Erdoğan in 2023 will be defending his 9 years of performance as a President of Turkiye. In the upcoming election, Erdogan is up against the united opposition alliances.

Who are the Candidates?

Unlike the last Presidential election which saw parties declaring their own candidate for office, the 2023 Turkish Presidential election is set to witness a fight between the alliance candidates. In 2018, Recep Tayyip Erdogan was the candidate of the People’s Alliance, the rest of the parties had separate candidates.

This time to take on Erdogan, the 6 opposition parties have come together to form a Nation Alliance with Kemal Kilicdaroglu of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) as their joint leader.

Ata Alliance has declared Sinan Oğan as their Presidential Candidate while the Labour and Freedom Alliance and Union of Socialist Forces are yet to declare their candidate.

Note: The office of the President of Turkey is term-limited, which means a President of Turkey can serve for only two terms. Article 101 of the Turkish Constitution states that a presidential term runs for five years and a candidate can be elected for a maximum of two terms.

The incumbent Tayyip Erdogan was elected as President of Turkey in 2014. Therefore, with respect to the constitution of Turkey Erdogan has already completed his two terms in office. However, the referendum that ended Turkey’s previous parliamentary system and brought about a presidential regime was introduced in 2017 and the changes were adopted in the 2018 election. Therefore, as argued by Erdogan and his supporters, by law the president elected in 2018 is the first president of the new system. Considering this Erdogan is running for the office of President once again.

Turkey Election Polls: Presidential Election Alliances

People’s Alliance (Cumhur İttifakı) CUMHUR

  • Parties
    • Justice and Development Party (AKP): Leader Tayyip Erdogan
    • Nationalist Movement Party (MHP): Leader Devlet Bahçeli
    • Great Unity Party (BBP): Leader Mustafa Destici
    • Free Cause Party (HÜDA PAR): Leader Zekeriya Yapıcıoğlu
  • Political Position: Right Wing to Far Right

Nation Alliance (Millet İttifakı) MİLLET

  • Parties
    • Republican People’s Party (CHP): Leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu
    • Good Party (İYİ): Leader Meral Akşener
    • Democrat Party (DP): Leader Gültekin Uysal
    • Felicity Party (SP): Leader Temel Karamollaoğlu
    • Democracy and Progress (DEVA): Leader Ali Babacan
    • Future Party (GP): Leader Ahmet Davutoğlu
  • Political Position: Mixed (Centre Left to Right Wing)

Labour and Freedom Alliance (Emek ve Özgürlük İttifakı)

  • Parties
    • Peoples Democratic Party (HDP): Leader Mithat Sancar and Pervin Buldan
    • Workers’ Party of Turkey (TİP): Leader Erkan Baş
    • Labour Party (EMEP): Leader Ercüment Akdeniz
    • Labourist Movement Party (EHP): Leader Hakan Öztürk
    • Social Freedom Party (TOP): Leader Perihan Koca
  • Political Position: Left-wing to far-left

Ata Alliance

  • Leader: Sinan Oğan

Union of Socialist Forces (Sosyalist Güç Birliği)

  • Parties
    • Left Party (SOL): Leader Önder İşleyen
    • Communist Party of Turkey (TKP): Leader Kemal Okuyan
    • Communist Movement of Turkey (TKH): Leader Aysel Tekerek
    • Revolutionary Movement (DH): Leader Erçin Fırat
  • Political Position: Far Left

Turkey Election Polls: Presidential (Latest Last 3 Polls)

Firm (Date)Erdoğan (AKP)Kılıçdaroğlu (CHP)Lead
Average (11 Mar)44.06%55.9%11.8%
Aksoy (8 Mar)44.455.611.2
Piar (7 Mar)42.957.114.2
ALF (6-7 Mar)44.955.110.2

Turkey Election Polls: Parliamentary (Latest Last 3 Polls)

Peoples’ Alliance:

Aksoy (8 Mar)
Piar (7 Mar)
ALF (6-7 Mar)31.06.537.5

The Alliance Represented by Tayyip Erdogan is set to receive an average of 37.8% vote share.

Nation Alliance

Aksoy (8 Mar)28.412.
Piar (7 Mar)
ALF (6-7 Mar)

The Alliance Represented by opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu set to receive an average of 44.6% vote share.

Labour and Freedom Alliance

Aksoy (8 Mar)
Piar (7 Mar)11.611.6
ALF (6-7 Mar)11.311.3

The Labour and Freedom Alliance are likely to poll an average of 11.5% vote share.

Note: For electing a member to the Turkish Parliament (Grand National Assembly) a party will have to cross the 7% vote share threshold. Turkey follows a party-list proportional representation system which means in order to return MPs to parliament, a party needs to gain more than 7% of the vote nationwide by itself or by being a member of an electoral alliance whose aggregate votes pass the threshold. The parliamentary threshold does not apply to independents

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Turkey Election Polls: Google Trends

Trend Result Last 7 Days

  • Erdoğan: 44%
  • Kılıçdaroğlu: 56%

Turkey Election Polls: Net Sentiment

Last 7 Days

  • Erdoğan: -7.2%
  • Kılıçdaroğlu: +5.2%

Turkey Election Polls: Electoral System

The President of Turkey is elected by two round voting system. The representatives of all parties/alliance contest in the first round of voting. A candidate getting more than 50% of the vote share is elected as President. However, if none of the candidates crosses the threshold, a runoff election is held between the top two candidates of the first round.

The candidate getting the maximum vote is elected as the President.

Turkey Election Polls: Highlights of the Last Election

The 2018 Turkey Presidential Election was the first election held after the constitutional amendments approved in a 2017 referendum which also resulted in the abolition of the office of Prime Minister.

Tayyip Erdogan was the Presidential Candidate representing the People’s Alliance while Republican People’s Party, nominated Muharrem İnce as their Presidential candidate. The Peoples’ Democratic Party nominated Selahattin Demirtaş and Meral Akşener to represent İyi Party. Other candidates were Temel Karamollaoğlu of the Felicity Party, and Doğu Perinçek of the Patriotic Party,

The election saw an 87 percent turnout. Erdoğan received 52.5 percent of the vote—an outright victory. Muharrem İnce received 30.6 percent. Here is the total vote share division among all the candidates:

Recep Tayyip ErdoğanJustice and Development Party52.59%
Muharrem İnceRepublican People’s Party30.64%
Selahattin DemirtaşPeoples’ Democratic Party8.40%
Meral AkşenerGood Party7.29%
Temel KaramollaoğluFelicity Party0.89%
Doğu PerinçekPatriotic Party0.20%

However, Erdoğan’s AKP (Justice and Development Party) fell short of the majority with 42.5 percent of the vote. AKP got 295 and fell short of the majority by 6 seats in the 600-member parliament. AKP’s ally the MHP (Nationalist Action Party) received 11.1 percent of the vote and obtained 49 seats in parliament.

CHP (People’s Republican Party) won 22.6 percent vote share and 146 seats. Its ally, the newly formed İyi (Good) party, led by Meral Akşener, won an impressive 10 percent of the vote and 43 seats. Kurdish HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) contested the elections on its own and managed to pass the 10 percent threshold for entering parliament, winning 11.7 percent of the vote (67 seats).

Turkey Election Polls: Demographic Division

Turkey has a population of around 85.2 million as per the latest data (31 December 2022). The median age of the Turkish population is 33.5 years. Around 22% of the population falls in the 0–14 age bracket while the population over the age of 65 is 9.9%.

The population is mainly comprised of Turkish people, who make up 75% of the total population, while Kurdish make up 18%. Other ethnic groups take up the remaining 17% of the total population. The main religion, followed by 99.8% of the population, is Islam, while other religions are followed by the minute .02% of the population.

Ankara is the capital of Turkiye but the city with the largest population in Tukey is Istanbul. The cities with the most population in Turkey (Top 5) are:

Date as of 31 Dec 2022

Political Pulse Team

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