A recent survey has indicated that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) would garner 44.6 percent of the vote in the mayoral election in İstanbul scheduled for late March, the Gazete Duvar news website reported.
According to the Konsensüs polling company survey, the AKP would again be the leading party in the local elections, followed by the Republican People’s Party (CHP) with 36.8 percent.
Turkish political parties have not yet announced their candidates for the post.
Several reports suggested that the AKP would nominate Binali Yıldırım, the incumbent speaker of the Turkish Parliament who has been working with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan since the latter served as mayor of İstanbul between 1994 and 1998.
The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) would garner some 7 percent of the vote, whereas the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) would win 5.2 percent and the İYİ (Good) Party 4.5 percent, the survey said.
AKP leader Erdoğan recently took a step back from his decision to break an alliance with his nationalist ally the MHP and started a new round of talks for securing the party’s support for metropolitan cities such İstanbul, Ankara and İzmir.
The ruling party nominated Mehmet Özhaseki, the environment and urban planning minister, for Ankara mayor and Nihat Zeybekci, former economy minister, for the İzmir municipality post.
According to the Turkish press the CHP has been seeking a possible alliance with the İYİ Party and the HDP in İstanbul and Ankara.
As the CHP garnered around 50 percent of the vote in İzmir in the 2014 local elections, a possible AKP-MHP alliance in the city poses no concerns for the opposition.
Yıldırım was the AKP’s candidate for İzmir in 2014, but he won only 35.9 percent of the vote. The MHP finished with 8 percent.