The CHP has shaped the format of June 24 elections
Looking solely at numbers, we need to highlight how the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) on June 24 fell into a downward spiral, dropping below the 25 percent barrier it succeeded since the 2011 general elections.
The number of votes the CHP won in the June 24 parliamentary elections is less than what it got in the June 7 and Nov. 1 elections in 2015. The CHP, in fact, on June 24 lost so many votes that it retracted back to the point it was at in 2011.
But while looking at the number of its MPs, we need to look carefully at one important point.
A significant portion of urban voters living in the west of the country have voted for the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) upon the concern that the party could fall below the much-criticized 10 percent threshold a party needs to pass in order to win seats in parliament.
How the HDP lost a good portion of its votes in Turkey’s east and southeast, where there is a much greater population of ethnic Kurds, and managed to get a greater share of votes in a key city like Istanbul stands proof to that.
The HDP votes here have gone up by 250,000.
In contrast, the CHP votes fell from 30.4 to 26.4 percent – a good 280,000 votes.
Of course, one has to take how Muharrem İnce, CHP MP from the northwestern Yalova province and presidential candidate, rose above the 30 percent barrier in the race for the presidential office, surpassing the votes his party won on the same day — when two ballots were for the first time placed in a single envelope.
We should also mention that İYİ Party, in the end, got to join the election at a time when there were worries whether the convention was held the required six months before voting day – a condition required for a party to join the polls.
Considering all these aspects, we should say that the initiatives CHP chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu took along the process paved the way for the 10-percent threshold to lose its meaning in helping create a parliament that houses representatives from five different parties.
The performance the CHP put out there, the initiatives it has taken and the moves it has made in the period running up to the landmark June 24 elections – a transit point into a much powerful new executive presidency long sought by Erdoğan — will be key factors in a retrospective analysis.