Turkey's political parties focus on key battleground provinces for Nov 1 polls
DHA PhotoAs Turkey heads to a reelection on Nov. 1 following the June 7 polls, which failed to produce a single-party or coalition government, the country’s political parties have shifted their focus to provinces where they narrowly lost seats in the last election, with some locations particularly under the spotlight.
In some cases, even a few thousand votes made a huge difference, hence motivating parties to expend extra efforts to win or defend those seats at the upcoming polls.
With a vote difference of less than two percent in the June 7 polls, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost 10 seats but gained nine, according to a detailed calculation by broadcaster CNN Türk’s team under economist Emin Çapa, a prominent statistics expert.
The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) lost eight deputies but gained six others in different regions, while the Republican People’s Party (CHP) lost four lawmakers while gaining four others and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lost one lawmaker but gained four in other regions.
The third polling district in Istanbul will receive a considerable amount of attention from rival political parties. The HDP has remarkable support in the polling district, sparking the AKP to take a significant step and move former Agriculture Minister Mehdi Eker from the prominently Kurdish southeastern Diyarbakır province to Istanbul’s third district.
The MHP will not run prominent party figure Meral Akşener in the Nov. 1 elections, so the AKP also expects a move of MHP votes from the nationalist party to the AKP in the district.
The AKP lost one lawmaker to the MHP in the June 7 election in Istanbul’s third polling district when Akşener had run for the nationalist party. The AKP expects one more lawmaker from both nationalist and Kurdish voters in the polling district.
As the HDP received remarkable support from the Aegean province of İzmir on June 7, the AKP’s votes substantially decreased. The MHP gained one lawmaker from the CHP by having 0.74 percent of the votes in İzmir’s first polling district, while the AKP took one lawmaker from the main opposition party with 1.47 percent of the votes in the second polling district. The CHP can gain one lawmaker in İzmir with just a 1 percent increase.
In Ankara’s first polling district, the MHP lost one lawmaker to the AKP, which lost one deputy to the CHP in the capital’s second polling district with 1.28 percent of the votes.
The AKP will run former MHP deputy Tuğrul Türkeş in Ankara with the aim of gaining more votes from the MHP’s base. Alongside nationalist votes, a fall in the CHP votes can also bring the AKP one more lawmaker in Ankara.
The Giresun and Iğdır province were examples of where parties lost lawmakers by thousands of votes. The AKP lost one deputy to the MHP by some 4000 votes, while the MHP lost one lawmaker to the HDP by 1243 votes.