Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has emerged as the leading party in a recent opinion poll, leaving the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has been in power since 2002, behind, Turkish media reported, citing the results of a survey conducted by the Area Research pollster.
According to the Area survey conducted in Ankara, the CHP would have received a nationwide vote of 31.2 percent, while the ruling AKP would have garnered 28.4 percent if a general election were held in August.
Another striking result of the poll was that support for the İYİ (Good) Party, an electoral alliance partner of the CHP, stood at 19.9 percent, while votes for the AKP’s far-right ally the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) stood at 9.8 percent, which is below Turkey’s election threshold.
Turkey has a 10 percent election threshold, which means if a party fails to get 10 percent of the national vote in the general election, they lose the opportunity to be represented in parliament. The AKP has been working on amendments to the Election Law to reduce the threshold to 7 percent, which is expected to benefit the MHP in the next general election scheduled to be held in 2023.
When asked “What is your opinion of Ankara Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Mansur Yavaş?” 21.2 percent of participants said it was “very positive,” 41.4 percent answered “positive” and 25.6 percent replied “partly positive.”
Only 9.2 percent of respondents said their opinion of Yavaş, who is from the CHP, was “negative,” with 2.5 percent saying “very negative.”
When he was elected Ankara mayor in 2019, Yavaş ended the 25-year rule in the city of the AKP and its predecessors. The politician has growing public support due to his fight against corruption and efforts aimed at saving taxpayer dollars.
According to the poll, 54.8 percent of respondents stated that they find the AKP government’s overall performance “unsuccessful” and “very unsuccessful.”
In the last general election, held in June 2018, the AKP garnered a nationwide vote of 42.6 percent. However, public surveys have increasingly been showing the party’s public support to be slipping.
A recent poll conducted by the Eurasia Public Research Center (AKAM) showed that in a scenario where Ankara Mayor Yavaş runs for president against current President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Yavaş would defeat Erdoğan by a 16.2 point margin, with Erdoğan and Yavaş garnering 41.9 percent and 58.1 percent of the vote, respectively.
Erdoğan and his ruling AKP faced widespread criticism over the poor response and inadequate preparedness for large-scale wildfires that started on the country’s southern and western coasts on July 28 and claimed the lives of nine people, also destroying large swathes of forestland, until they were fully contained on Aug. 13.