Support to AKP drops after Gezi rallies, says poll

Support to AKP drops after Gezi rallies, says poll

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Support to AKP drops after Gezi rallies, says poll

Supporters of the ruling AKP stand at a recent rally in Istanbul.

The ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) votes have decreased 6 percent since 2012 while the opposition parties increased their votes, according to a recent survey conducted after the Gezi Park protests.

The AKP would have 44.1 percent of votes if elections were held today, according to Sonar Research Company’s recent survey, which means that the party lost 6 percent of its support compared to the same company’s survey taken in February 2012, which predicted 53.2 percent of votes for the party.

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) would get 28.2 percent of votes, while the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) would receive 16.3 percent votes if elections were held today, according to Sonar’s survey, conducted between July 8 and 16 with 3,000 respondents across the country.

The AKP got 49.8 percent votes in the general elections June 12, 2011. Hakan Bayrakçı, CEO of SONAR, said the Gezi Park protests across the country had an influence on the decrease of the ruling party’s votes.

HDN “It is safe to link the results to the Gezi Park incident, which was like the straw that broke the camel’s back. A great deal of the drifting support might be permanent. My assessment is that they had come to AKP mainly from center right or other right-wing parties and are now going back. I can say the reaction is not against the AKP, but Prime Minister [Recep] Tayyip Erdoğan’s stance regarding the Gezi protests in particular. On the other hand, the Gezi protests further consolidated the conservative voter support for the AKP,” Bayrakçı told the Hürriyet Daily News on July 19.

The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) came in fourth with 6.4 percent of votes, while both the Felicity (Saadet) Party and the Turkey Workers’ Party (TİP) got 2 percent.

Sonar surveys showed that the CHP lost votes in 2012 but then regained its position this year. The MHP, however, has been steadily increasing its share of the vote since 2010.

Sonar’s prediction of the 2011 general elections results was the most accurate one, as it predicted that the AKP would receive 50.9 percent of the vote, and it actually got 49.8 percent.