Will there be an early election in Turkey after this one?

Will there be an early election in Turkey after this one?

There are three main scenarios for Turkey the day after the June 7 elections:

1) The Erdoğan scenario: The Kurdish problem-oriented Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) fails to break the 10 percent threshold to get into parliament. The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the National Movement Party (MHP) fail to significantly increase their votes. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Parti) manages to get over, or very near to, 330 seats of the total 550 - which is the minimum to take a new constitution to a referendum. This means that Erdoğan will be able to get very close to what he desires: A strong presidential system with weakened checks and balances. Erdoğan would ask Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s government to form that constitution as soon as possible, returning to a security-based policy on the Kurdish issue, in the event that Kurdish militancy - disappointed with the HDP’s failure (amid speculation about election rigging) - returns.

2) The Davutoğlu scenario: Regardless of whether the HDP gets into parliament, the AK Parti gets between 330 and 300 seats, (which is the psychological barrier of success within the party for this election). Erdoğan would then force Davutoğlu to find a solution for his presidency problem either by forming alliances to carry them above 330 or by going to an early election for another try. But Davutoğlu, having gained confidence after passing his first test, (albeit with a lot of support from Erdoğan), would try to resist this and a new balance would be found between the two. In this scenario, the AK Parti’s domination in different areas - from the courts to the media to the business environment - would continue, and Davutoğlu would be able to keep his prime ministry, (which he would not according to the first scenario, as Erdoğan does not want a prime minister in his system). As a result, this is the scenario that would make Davutoğlu most happy.

3.1) Early election scenario No. 1: The HDP gets into parliament and the CHP and the MHP increase their votes, not enough to push the AK Parti below 276 seats - which is the minimum to force a vote of confidence - but below 300, which would mean a weaker AK Parti government with a stronger opposition presence in parliament. This scenario would make Erdoğan angry, because the opposition parties would feel better than before and none would be likely to bargain with the AK Parti to pave the way for Erdoğan’s super-presidency. Erdoğan, on the other hand, could pressure a weakened Davutoğlu to go to an early election in order to achieve his goal within his five-year presidential term, in order to secure at least a second term. This is very likely to cause a row within the AK Parti, perhaps reaching a peak in a congress in September. In this scenario, Davutoğlu may not be in a position to resist much. 

3.2) Early election scenario No. 2: The HDP gets into parliament and the CHP and the MHP increase their votes enough to push the AK Parti below 276 seats. In this case it would be very difficult for the AK Parti to find a coalition partner that would agree on Erdoğan’s presidential model, but the opposition parties would not want to form a fragmented coalition government against a strong AK Parti opposition. In either case, Erdoğan would push Davutoğlu to call an early election, which Davutoğlu might also like to hold.