Turkey’s early elections: Dynamics and possible outcomes

Turkey’s early elections: Dynamics and possible outcomes

Regardless of what anyone says, every election that has brought Turkish voters to the polls has been very important and critical.

One may use the same words to describe the upcoming snap elections scheduled for June 24. But the snap elections this time seem somehow “different.”

That is because we have come face to face with dynamics and possible outcomes that are going to be brand new and different to us. The reason why opinion poll firms and researchers are having a difficult time reading the situation is that there are many dynamics and possible outcomes.

We can list the election dynamics and possible general voter behavior for the snap polls based on strategies of parties, public opinion polls, and the general sentiment in the streets.

‘People’s Alliance’

1- Citizens who will vote President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for president and the People’s Alliance—the electoral deal set between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) - for parliament.

2- Citizens who will vote for Erdoğan in his presidential bid but will not vote for the AKP for parliament.

3- Citizens who will vote for the MHP for parliament but will not vote for Erdoğan.

Nation Alliance

1- Citizens who will vote for the candidate nominated from their parties – either the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), the Good (İYİ) Party, or the Felicity (Saadet) Party — in the presidential bid and who will vote for their political party for parliament.

2- CHP voters who will vote for the party’s presidential candidate, Muharrem İnce, in the presidential race but will vote for the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in the parliamentary election. These voters believe that the CHP has distanced itself from the left and that the HDP should not feel threatened by the 10-percent election threshold.

3- Citizens who will vote for İnce in the presidential elections but will vote for İYİ Party in the general elections. These people include locals from the Aegean provinces and those who protest the candidate lists announced by the CHP.

4- Felicity Party voters who will vote for Erdoğan in the presidential polls but will support the SP in the general race.  

Breaking it down

- With its alliance, the MHP may get back some of the votes it lost to the AKP in the November 2015 snap election.

- President Erdoğan’s votes in the presidential election may well be higher than the People’s Alliance votes in the parliamentary election.

- In his presidential bid, İnce may get votes more than the Nation Alliance in the general elections.

- The HDP’s votes may come above the votes that Demirtaş gets in the presidential race, as many people may vote for it in order to ensure it crosses the 10 percent threshold. 

Researchers say they believe healthy data regarding voter behavior can only be collected from this week on, exactly a month ahead of the snap polls. That is why it is tough to see the percentage of votes that these possibilities may bring about.

Still, there are two broad systemic conclusions that we can draw at this stage. First, the president and the parliament will have somewhat parallel authorities. Second, the president and the parliament will be run by two alliances, one ruling each entity.

In the first scenario, the new system could function as planned. In the second scenario, the various branches could be at odds, which would be an unprecedented state of affairs.

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