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POLITICS > Corruption claims had no effect on local polls: Research

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Bekir Ağırdır, head of the Konda research center, said there had been a decrease in the number of AKP votes compared to last April, when it amounted to 53 percent in public opinion polls.

Bekir Ağırdır, head of the Konda research center, said there had been a decrease in the number of AKP votes compared to last April, when it amounted to 53 percent in public opinion polls.

Corruption and graft claims engulfing senior government figures had little effect on voters’ choices in March 30’s local polls, while Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was more important in swaying votes than the party, new research has shown.

Ipsos, a social research center, conducted the research immediately after the closure of ballot boxes.
Some 75 percent of AKP voters said the emergence of corruption allegations since Dec. 17, 2013, had “no effect” on their decisions, while 20 percent said the tapes had “increased their solidarity” with their party.

As for main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) voters, 47 percent of them underlined that corruption claims had a strengthening effect in their support for the party. Some 25 percent of Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) voters said the same.

On questions of whether the fact that the Fethullah Gülen community had a structure within the state had caused a change in their votes, a good majority of all three parties’ voters said it had no effect. On the effect of leaked phone conversations between Erdoğan and other government members, around 80 percent of AKP and 50 percent of MHP voters said they were not persuaded to change their decisions. CHP voters, however, said their decision to vote for the social democrat party was fortified by the release of such tapes.

Blocking the use of Twitter and YouTube had no influence on AKP voters, with only 3.6 percent of them saying they changed their minds after the introduction of such bans. Some 22.7 percent of CHP voters and 30 percent of MHP voters underlined that they had changed their decisions after the social media bans.

The peace process had an effect on 10 percent of ruling party voters, as they said they changed their decisions because of it, while 20 percent of CHP and 27.7 percent of MHP voters did the same.

Impact of Erdoğan as the leader

The identity of the party leader was most important among 84 percent of AKP voters, indicating that Erdoğan is a more determining factor compared to his party’s institutional popularity. The services the AKP provides are also seen as an important factor for AKP voters in choosing the ruling party. On the same question, CHP voters said their party leader had only a 55 percent impact while the MHP’s leader had an effect on 67 percent of the party’s constituents.

According to Adil Gür of the A&G Research Company, more than 80 percent of AKP voters said they voted for the ruling party because they were satisfied with the services provided by the government and its municipalities.

However, just 14 percent of AKP voters said they voted for Erdoğan because of the “international plot” carried out against the government, he said, according to daily Hürriyet. “Polarization worked for the advantage of Erdoğan and the AKP,” Gül said.  

Bekir Ağırdır, head of the Konda research center, said there had been a decrease in the number of AKP votes compared to last April, when it amounted to 53 percent in public opinion polls.

“It cannot be said that Dec. 17 had no effect on the polls. But the reasons why its impact was limited are polarization, the lack of political competitiveness and the existence of politics based on identities,” Ağırdır said.

April/02/2014

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