Turkey’s President Erdogan could face surprise DEFEAT in this month’s close-run elections, poll shows

Turkey’s President Erdogan could face surprise DEFEAT in this month’s close-run elections, poll shows

Turkey‘s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan could be facing an uphill battle to hold on to power, as a new poll shows that his coalition could lose its parliamentary majority.

President Erdogan has called presidential and parliamentary elections for June 24, seeking to extend his 15-year rule.

But while polls indicate that Erdogan is likely to be re-elected president, the outcome of the parliamentary vote is not as straightforward.

Close call: Polls indicate that while President Erdogan is likely to be re-elected president, his ‘People’s Alliance’ coalition may not be able to win a parliamentary majority on June 24

If the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) is able to win more than ten per cent of the vote – the threshold which allows representatives to take seats in parliament – Erdogan risks losing his majority.

Erdogan’s ruling AK Party has formed a ‘People’s Alliance’ coalition with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), while the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Iyi (Good) Party and Saadet (Felicity) Party have come together in the Nation Alliance.   

According to a new poll by Bloomberg News, Erdogan’s AK Party is set to win 46 per cent of votes, and his coalition partner 4.8 per cent – enough for a 50.8 per cent majority.

However, due to a 3.5 per cent margin of error, there could be a surprise victory for the opposition, and a separate Reuters poll put Erdogan’s coalition at just 48.7 per cent, with Nation Alliance at 38.9 per cent and HDP at 11.5.

Campaign trail: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan greets the crowd during an election rally of ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party in Kocaeli, Turkey on Sunday

‘Erdogan always needed and will need coalitions,’ Mert Yildiz, co-founder of the pollster Foresight Danismanlik told Bloomberg.

Erdogan himself polls better than his ruling AK Party, which bodes well for him ahead of the presidential vote, also held next Sunday.

The vote will usher in a new executive presidency that concentrates more powers in the president’s hands and abolishes the office of the prime minister. The switch was narrowly approved in a referendum last year.

According to Bloomberg, Erdogan could take home the presidential vote in the first round, with nearly 51 per cent, his closest rival trailing behind at just over 30 per cent.

If no presidential candidate gains 50 percent of the vote, a second round vote will be held two weeks later between the two candidates with the most votes.  

Bloomberg’s poll found that if there is a second round of votes, ‘Erdogan’s lead would be more substantial’.

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