Erdoğan won but remained below the 2011 threshold
As one week has passed since the elections, we can review the results in detail once again. Let us start by analyzing the vote results of President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the chair of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party).
The AK Party received 21,320,000 of votes in the 2011 general election – excluding border gates voting. This corresponds to a ratio of 49.8 percent, the party’s best ballot box performance.
The AK Party experienced a decline that cannot be considered insignificant in the March 30 local elections. When the “city council” votes of the party are combined, it received a total of 19,434,000 votes (43.3 percent). Compared to the results of the 2011 general elections, this means a loss of nearly 1,900,000 votes.
In an alternative method of calculation, the city council votes in 51 provinces are combined with the votes cast for the municipal mayor in 30 large cities. In this calculation method, the AK Party received a total of 20,519,000 votes (45.6 percent). Erdoğan pronounces this ratio as the official figure. With this method, the decline in AK Party votes when compared to 2011 is reduced 1 million further, to become 800,000.
Now let us look at the presidential elections. On Aug. 10, excluding border gate and out-of-country voting, Erdoğan obtained 20,670,000 votes. This amount is only 151,000 more than the second method of calculation, including the mayoral votes in the 30 large cities in the March 30 local elections. It is 1,236,000 more than the local elections vote, calculated on the basis of city council votes alone.
When we compare the votes Erdoğan received in the presidential election to the 2011 general elections, we see this: His 20,670,000 votes are 650,000 lower than his party’s 21,320,000. In other words, Erdoğan has not performed as well as the 2011 level.
We can also compare the last three elections according to provinces. When compared to the 2011 general elections, the AK Party gained more votes in 35 provinces out of the 81 on Aug. 10. However, in 46 provinces the vote ratio was lower than 2011.
When Erdoğan’s Aug. 10 performance is compared to the local election four months ago, votes increased in 61 provinces and decreased in 20 provinces.
As a general observation, we can say that Erdoğan remained below his party’s 2011 results in a majority of provinces. When compared to March 30, he performed better than his party in a large majority of provinces.
This observation is also correct about election results: There are provinces that increased in AK Party votes compared to March 30 but remained lower than 2011; however, there are is a lower number of provinces that performed just the opposite. The important aspect here is that in 30 provinces Erdoğan increased his votes compared to both 2011 and March 30. As a general trend, it is possible to say these provinces are in Central Anatolia and the Black Sea.
Meanwhile, the provinces that experienced a decline both in 2011 and on March 30 are interesting. There are 15 provinces in this category and nine of them are large metropolitan cities. It’s also
particularly interesting that the three biggest cities are included among these.
For example, while the AK Party gained 3,931,000 votes in 2011 in Istanbul, on March 30, 2014 its city council votes were 3,813,000, whereas the party’s mayoral candidate, Kadir Topbaş, gained 4,180,000 votes. Erdoğan’s votes on Aug. 10 in Istanbul were 3,567,000; lower than both 2011 and March 30.
In Ankara, the AK Party received 1,471,000 votes in 2011 and 1,416,000 votes on March 30, 2014. This figure went down to 1,405,000 for Erdoğan’s presidential campaign. Likewise, in İzmir, the party’s votes were around 924,000 in 2011, rising to 947,000 on March 30, 2014. On Aug. 10, however, they fell to 786,967.
As a result, we can suggest that the Central Anatolia and Black Sea regions have played quite a significant role in Erdoğan’s ascent to the presidential office.