Latest polls show opposition’s İmamoğlu leading in İstanbul election re-run

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İstanbul's ousted mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu

The latest polls for the re-run of the İstanbul mayoral election indicate that opposition alliance candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu is leading the race.

According to a pro-government MAK Consulting Firm survey conducted on 11,000 İstanbulites between May 15 and 20, 47 percent of respondents said they would support İmamoğlu, while some 45 percent favor the ruling party’s candidate, Binali Yıldırım.

İmamoğlu won the İstanbul race on March 31 by a razor-thin edge; however, Turkey’s Supreme Election Board (YSK) canceled the results due to alleged irregularities and ordered a new election for İstanbul’s mayoral post on June 23.

The poll showed that 49 percent of participants do not believe there were any irregularities in the March 31 election, while some 43 percent allege discrepancies.

Seventy-two percent of opposition supporters said they would vote for their candidate, whereas 80 percent of Yıldırım supporters said their preference stemmed from party ties or President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Another pro-government polling company on Monday said that an İmamoğlu win in the election re-run became easier after the YSK decision, which was not fully understood by some 25 percent of the voters.

The A&G survey revealed that non-voters are a homogenous group; therefore, even if they decide to vote on June 23, their support will not change the result.

Also, İmamoğlu supporters seem more motivated than Yıldırım voters, according to the poll.

The survey indicated that the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) loss of supporters in the March 31 election is not solely related to Kurdish voters and that Kurds in İstanbul, constituting some 12 percent of the electorate, will continue to be the kingmaker.

Meanwhile, the Optimar polling company’s latest survey said İmamoğlu is leading the race by some 4 percent.

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